PA House Ctte Votes to Rename “Impact Fee” to “Severance Tax”

The Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee amended a bill yesterday that will rename PA’s impact fee to a “severance tax,” a move which really ticked off the high taxers in the legislature, and anti-drillers (most of them one and the same). The PA House came back into session yesterday and 25 House members (most of them Democrats) made a move to get a vote on a bill with a 3.5% severance tax. The Republican majority on the committee flipped things around and replaced that measure with a vote to rename the impact fee–as a way of illustrating that the industry IS ALREADY TAXED, JUST LIKE A SEVERANCE TAX, even if you don’t call it one. So, let’s just call it one! Brilliant! Of course there are differences between a severance tax and an impact fee–actually the fee is a better revenue generator than a severance tax. However, the point remains: the industry is already paying a high tax, and to slap another on top of it is suicide. Republicans on the committee got their point across…

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