Separating Higher Energy Tax Fact from Fiction

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This week, even more fact-based opinion pieces straightforwardly separate higher energy tax from fiction. As we know, massively higher energy taxes on natural gas will hurt our economy and jeopardize local jobs all while generating far less revenue than claimed and causing families to shoulder more burden.

Here’s what they’re saying:

Williamsport Sun-Gazette editorial

  • The governor’s proposal to tax natural gas harvested in Pa. would bring in far less revenue than he originally estimated.
  • While the governor relied on more than $1 billion from a severance tax to balance his budget proposal, the recent analysis shows his tax increase plan would bring in less than $200 millionless than one-fifth of his original estimate.
  • The governor’s severance tax would not deliver the revenue he has promised, which could lead to future tax increases on other Pennsylvanians.
  • The more pragmatic course is to not overtax the state’s number one economic generator, the natural gas industry.

York Dispatch op-ed

  • Basic economics tells us there will be tradeoffs [with a higher energy tax]: less investment, fewer jobs, or higher prices.
  • The IFO finds the severance tax would result in higher utility costs — $180 million paid by Pa. families earning less than $100,000.
  • Gas drillers already pay an “impact fee” of more than $200 million per year. That’s on top of $300 million paid since 2009 in other state taxes and $7 billion in royalty payments.
  • Wolf’s severance tax isn’t earmarked for education. Money would flow first to corporate welfare subsidies for alternative energy.

Centre Daily Times op-ed

  • At a time when the price of natural gas is at an all-time low, this [energy massive energy tax] would drive companies to other states or shale plays — taking good paying, family-sustaining jobs and economic opportunity with them.
  • The bulk of the revenue from the Wolf administration’s proposed severance tax would not go to education.
  • The language in the governor’s plan actually calls for a substantial portion to go toward payments for alternative energy subsidies with not one dollar guaranteed to go toward education.
  • These massive tax increases are not in the best interest of Pa.’s residents and will not move the state forward.
  • We need to work together to make Pa.’s business climate one in which job creators can afford to do business.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter

  • Why should we continue to overregulate an industry that pays the same 9.99 percent corporate net income tax, just like every other business, pays sales taxes on the equipment used in all aspects of drilling, and has paid more than $625 million in impact fees in the past three years?
  • Impact fees have been extremely important for communities, but they also need to be recognized for the what they really are — an extra tax.
  • A severance tax is yet another extra tax that could put the future of natural gas jobs in Pa. at risk.
  • This industry has been a shot in the arm for manufacturing, trucking, construction and other businesses that desperately needed it.
  • It’s also provided a promise of good-paying jobs to our young people.

For more facts about Gov. Wolf’s higher energy tax claims, click HERE.