PA Gov Wolf’s New Budget Calls for 6.5% Severance Tax (Again)

Yesterday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf released his 2017 budget proposal. Twice before, Wolf has attempted to levy a severance tax Marcellus drilling in the state–in addition to the existing impact tax. A severance tax would cause drilling in the state to stop, by giving PA one of the highest severance tax rates in the nation. (Yes, drillers do have other options and will go to other shale plays!) However, in this new budget, Wolf is once again attempting to impose a severance tax–this time 6.5% (same as last year)–as a payback to the teachers’ unions that helped elect him. Wolf’s plan this year is to transfer away nearly $300 million from drillers and landowners, via a high severance tax, and give it to “education.” As soon as Wolf was done with his divisive budget address yesterday, top Republicans declared the severance tax plan dead–about as dead as Wolf’s fledgling reelection effort…

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