MSC: PA Impact Fee Far Superior to a Quick Fix Severance Tax

Once again it’s necessary to counter the false narrative in Pennsylvania media that “Pennsylvania is the only state without a severance tax” and “a severance tax will magically fix our over budget mess.” Last week MDN brought you news that 12 so-called Republicans in the PA House were behind an effort to force a vote on a severance tax (see PA RINOs Pressure House Speaker to Allow Severance Tax Vote). The ring leader is Gene DiGirolamo, a RINOsaur (an old RINO, practically a fossil himself) from the Philly area. DiGirolamo has been agitating for a severance tax for more than five years. Responding to DiGirolamo and others braying for new severance tax, Marcellus Shale Coalition president Dave Spigelmyer sent a hard-hitting letter (fully copy below) on Tuesday to PA House Speaker Mike Turzai. Here’s just one fact from Dave’s letter, to set the record straight: “It is simply disingenuous for Rep. DiGirolamo and his colleagues to fail to acknowledge that Pennsylvania already has a tax on drillers – called the Impact Fee – which was enacted in 2012 and is levied on every unconventional natural gas producer in Pennsylvania. For context, Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee brought in more revenue in 2016 than the severance tax collections did in Ohio, West Virginia, Colorado and Arkansas combined.” Did you catch that? PA’s impact “tax” brought in more revenue that the severance taxes in four other major oil and gas producing states–combined. And yet the media, and RINOsaurs like DiGirolamo, persist in lying to the public and repeating, like a mantra, “We don’t have a severance tax, we don’t have a severance tax.” What they are really saying is that they don’t like how the tax revenue generated from the impact tax gets spent. DiGirolamo and his ilk would prefer to give the money away to teachers unions and other supporters–in political payoff–rather than have it go back to the communities where drilling happens, where there is an “impact” (hence the name). Here’s Dave’s hard-hitting, and very truthful, letter to Speaker Turzai, outlining the case against a new severance tax…

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