Yes Virginia, There IS a Severance Tax in Pennsylvania!

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, commonly known as the Commonwealth Foundation or CF, is Pennsylvania’s free-market think tank. CF’s mission is simple: Transform free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish. In a recent post on the CF blog site, the organization makes the strong case that although PA’s levy on shale drillers in the state is called an impact “fee”–it’s actually a tax. Quoting the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), the CF post says, “the current impact fee is equivalent to a 6.9% severance tax–higher than severance taxes in Louisiana, Wyoming, and West Virginia.” Here’s what CF has to say about PA’s severance TAX…
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PA IFO Predicts 2 Possible Scenarios for 2020 Impact Tax Revenue

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) does a good job of guesstimating how much impact fee revenue will get generated in the coming year, based on permit and producing wells activity in the current year. Impact fees are PA’s equivalent of a severance tax–a fee paid by drillers for each new well they drill, paid over a 15-year period. This year IFO is offering up two scenarios for how much money the state will receive in impact fee revenues next year (based on wells drilled and active this year). One scenario is based on natgas prices averaging at least $2.25/MMBtus (million British Thermal Units) on the NYMEX, and the other scenario assumes gas prices slip below that level.
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PA PUC Distributes $200M from Impact Tax, Down $52M from Prev Yr

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Each June the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (PA’s version of a severance tax) releases the final numbers for impact fee revenues and disbursements for the prior calendar year. Yesterday was the appointed day for 2019 fee revenue generated. The PUC reports impact fees on natural gas producers in 2019 totaled $200,364,500, down roughly $52 million from $251,830,900 generated in 2018. With this year’s distribution, over the past nine years, PA has collected and distributed over $1.9 billion to communities across Pennsylvania–a massive amount!
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PA Gov Wolf’s $4.5B Severance Tax Debacle Dead as a Doornail

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Santa Claus routine is wearing thin. As he has done year after year with his annual proposed budgets, Wolf once again is calling for a massive tax increase of $4.5 billion, assessed solely on the Marcellus Shale industry, in order to fund a panoply of projects (see Wolf Lies About 2020 Proposed Budget – Includes $4.5B Tax Increase). The PA House and Senate (both chambers controlled by Republican majorities) are standing firm against Wolf’s desire to tax the Marcellus out of existence. They recognize his tax would kill the goose laying economic golden eggs in the state.
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Wolf Lies About 2020 Proposed Budget – Includes $4.5B Tax Increase

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf flat out, 100% lied when he introduced his latest annual budget on Tuesday, declaring “it doesn’t raise taxes.” B.S. As he has done for the past six budgets, Wolf once again is calling for a new severance tax on the Marcellus. On top of the existing impact tax (the equivalent of a severance tax). Wolf’s plan calls for a new tax that would steal $4.5 billion out of the pockets of drillers and landowners in order to redistribute their hard-earned wealth to a panoply of others.
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PA Gov Wolf Makes Another Push to Kill Marcellus with Severance Tax

Little Johnny one-note, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, is once again singing a single note–and that note is a call to destroy what’s left of the PA Marcellus industry with a severance tax. He sang his one-note tune yesterday, doing his best Santa Claus routine. Wolf says he can give away $4.5 billion of “everything” PA residents desire most in life–if only the evil Republican leadership in both chambers of the legislature would allow a vote on his plan.
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The Real Costs of PA Gov. Wolf’s Carbon Tax by Joining RGGI

Opposition to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to have PA join with northeastern states in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) continues. Big opposition. Earlier this month Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf went completely off his rocker with a power-grab to force PA into a regional alliance to tax natural gas-fired electric plants out of existence (see Gov. Wolf Goes Bonkers: EO Destroying Gas-Fired Elec, Carbon Tax). The reaction was swift–on both sides of the issue (see Reaction to Gov. Wolf’s Bonkers Plan to Strangle NatGas Elec Plants). Reaction against the plan continues. The Indiana County, PA Board of Commissioners recently adopted a unanimous resolution against Wolf’s foolish plan, laying out in dollars and cents the very high cost such a plan will have on the county (in lost taxes and lost jobs).
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PA DEP Shuts Down 2 Marcellus Wells for Not Paying Impact Tax

Xtreme Energy Co., headquartered in Victoria, Texas, has been ordered by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to shut down/stop producing at two Marcellus wells operated by the company located in Somerset County, PA, in the southwestern part of the state. Why? Because, says the DEP, Xtreme has not paid its impact fee (i.e. severance tax) for those wells for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
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Wolf’s PA Severance Tax Now Much Less Likely – Enviros Oppose

Can it be possible that the shale industry and anti-shale environmentalists (those who irrationally espouse the end of using all fossil fuels) can actually agree on something? Turns out, we can! The something we agree on is opposition to PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to tax a single industry, shale drilling, $4.5 billion in order to use that money for Big Government programs.
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F&M Push Poll Finds Majority PA Residents Want Severance Tax

One of the most liberal governors in America, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, continues his campaign to kill the Marcellus Shale by slapping a severance tax on top of an already-high impact tax. He’s now getting a little help from his lib friends at the polling unit at Franklin & Marshall College. When asked a misleading question, a recent poll of 627 PA residents found 69% of them “strongly” or “somewhat” favor Wolf’s Santa Claus promises in his “Restore PA” plan–if it’s funded by a severance tax on Marcellus Shale.
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PA Gov Magically Finds $ to Fix Philly Schools w/o Severance Tax

In March, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf traveled to an elementary school in South Philadelphia with the message that only a severance tax on Marcellus Shale production stands in the way of cleaning up lead paint problems that are poisoning the little kiddies at the school (see Gov. Wolf’s Campaign of Lies re Severance Tax Continues in Philly). We were, rightly, incensed. If children are being poisoned by lead paint in Philly schools, find the money somewhere and fix the problem–NOW. It seems we weren’t the only ones thinking that way. Wolf has magically found $4.3 million to fix the problem…without a severance tax.
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Newspaper Editors Say Impact Fee Superior to Severance Tax in PA

It’s not every day you read an editorial in a prominent Pennsylvania newspaper lending a full-throated endorsement for PA’s impact fee over a so-called severance tax, but it just happened in Williamsport. The Sun-Gazette editorial board published a column pointing out the superiority of an impact fee (actually an impact tax) over a severance tax. They make some great points, pointing out the numbers speak for themselves…
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PA PUC Distributes $252M from Impact Tax – Highest Ever!

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Each June the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (PA’s version of a severance tax) releases the final numbers of impact fee revenues and disbursements for the prior calendar year. Yesterday was the appointed day for 2018 fee revenue generated. The PUC reports impact fees on natural gas producers in 2018 totaled $242,964,000–the highest-ever yearly amount of revenue generated since the fee/tax was implemented in 2011. If you add in another $8,866,900 disbursed after a court case was settled about “stripper wells,” the total that was disbursed this year amounts to a whopping $251,830,900–a quarter of a billion dollars!
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PA Severance Tax Bills Intro’d in House & Senate w/Strong Support

It looks like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s “promise them anything and everything” Santa Claus routine is working. We’re referring to Wolf’s so-called Restore PA plan that will provide (over a number of years) $4.5 BILLION worth of goodies to Pennsylvanians by slapping a Marcellus-killing severance tax on the already impact taxed shale industry. Legislation was introduced yesterday in the PA House to create Restore PA (House Bill 1585) and fund it with a severance tax, and we’ll be darned if there weren’t 99 House members who signed up to sponsor it (16 of them traitorous Republicans).
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PA Sen. Yaw Sees the Light – Doesn’t Support Severance Tax

Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw, Republican from Lycoming County, PA, seems to have changed his mind about a severance tax on Marcellus Shale production. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) visited Williamsport in Yaw’s home district yesterday. At a joint press conference to discuss the superiority of an impact fee to a severance tax, Yaw called those supporting a severance tax “bobbleheads.” Whoa, way to go Sen. Yaw! That’s a far cry from his vote in favor of a severance tax in 2017 (see PA Sen. Gene Yaw Defends Vote for Severance Tax).
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PA Republicans Push Alternative to Wolf’s Insane Severance Tax

In April MDN told you that Pennsylvania State Senators Camera Bartolotta (Washington County) and Pat Stefano (Fayette County) had beaten PA Gov. Tom Wolf at his own game by offering to pay for his so-called Restore PA plan, not by using a severance tax on shale production, but instead by allowing more shale drilling on PA state lands (see PA Senators Steal Wolf’s Thunder, Propose Drilling to Fund Goodies).
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