Allegheny Institute Exposes Wolf’s Severance Tax as a Disaster

The Allegheny Institute exists to conduct research, education and advocacy work in a mission to defend taxpayers and businesses against burdensome taxation, inefficiency and intrusiveness of an ever expanding government. That’s a pretty tall order because government–at all levels–is always expanding, like a voracious monster. Think of the Allegheny Institute as a mini version of the Heritage Foundation–focused on Pennsylvania. Last week the Institute published a new policy brief dealing with the latest severance tax proposal by PA Gov. Tom Wolf. This is a think piece–but not overly heavy. It is quite readable (within a few minutes) and delivers food for thought. As the author points out, you can change to a severance tax from an impact fee (i.e. tax), but will you really reap all of the revenue claimed? Politicians like Wolf often gloss over the economics. Currently, the impact fee is levied on drillers. A severance tax, if enacted, would (in many/most cases) be deducted as an expense from royalty checks, placing the burden for the tax on landowners–and lowering their income, which means less in the way of state income tax revenues. The severance tax proposed by Wolf, when considered honestly, is nothing short of a disaster…

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