Some PA Republicans Beginning to Cave on Severance Tax

Kudos to Pennsylvania Republicans for hanging tough and pushing back against the bullying of PA Gov. Tom Wolf with respect to a Marcellus-killing severance tax. However, the battle for a severance tax may have taken its toll. At least one, perhaps more, Republicans are going squishy now that the fight is over for the 2015/2016 budget. State Rep. Jim Christiana, a Republican (RINO) from Beaver County (where Shell may build an ethane cracker plant) says he will propose new legislation that creates a 3% severance tax. His tax plan includes abolishing the existing impact fee, which is the equivalent of a severance tax, and using some of the 3% tax revenue to replace the impact fee. Christiana says, “many Republicans support the concept of a severance tax, but simply reject the governor’s punitive approach.” He also says Republicans “have lost the public relations battle in explaining that the impact fee is a severance tax.” In other words Christiana has lost his nerve. Christiana is a major disappointment and, possibly, an harbinger that PA Republicans may cave and pass a severance tax after successfully fending one off this year…

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