No Severance Tax in This Year’s Massive, Way-Too-High PA Budget

This year’s Pennsylvania budget deal is different from the previous three such annual budgets. One way it’s not different is that this year’s budget once again hits a new high–a massively bloated, morbidly obese $32.7 billion. Although the budget does not include any new taxes, it does increase spending in a number of areas, including “education” (i.e. teacher’s unions). Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf once again asked for a Marcellus-killing severance tax this year, but he didn’t really mean it. He knew he wouldn’t get one. So Wolf brokered a deal with House and Senate Republicans that leaves out a severance tax. In the previous three budgets Wolf demanded a severance tax and delayed adopting each budget by months, in an act of petulance and temper tantrum. Since this is an election year and Wolf is up for reelection, he decided to forgo the histrionics over a severance tax. So, we’ve dodged the tax bullet once again. However, if Wolf is reelected, expect him to double down and perhaps even shut down state government in order to get a severance tax. The tax battle will be super-nasty next year, you can count on it. Meanwhile, the Senate is due to pass the budget on Friday, and Wolf will sign it soon after…

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