February 8, 2017

Local Opposition Mounts to PA’s Proposed Tax on Natural Gas


On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) proposed a $294 million tax on natural gas production in Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday proposed for the third time a severance tax on natural gas production to help plug yet another structural budget deficit that’s projected to be $3 billion in the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July.

…Wolf’s administration estimates that if his severance tax is enacted in July, it would generate nearly $294 million.

Early reaction on the local level, though, was harsh. From Washington County, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh:

Larry Maggi, chairman of the Washington County commissioners, had already heard these proposals.

…“We want to make sure we keep the gas industry here. It’s now making a comeback, and we don’t want to do anything to end that.”

…As for the extraction fee possibly displacing the impact fees, [Supervisor Wilbur] Caldwell said, “Act 13 funds have been extremely beneficial to townships, especially in Washington County. We’re able to do things we couldn’t dream about before Act 13. (Losing Act 13) would be a very sad demise.”

Indeed, Washington County’s Observer-Reporter sums up the reaction to the natural gas tax proposal:

These are not new Pennsylvania proposals, and they have thus far been failed proposals. And, according to a small sampling taken Tuesday, local officials prefer those measures stay on the road to nowhere.

Unfortunately, proposals like this are not new. The Environmentalist Left has planned to double down on their unpopular and job-killing policies across the country in 2017.