Davidson introduces Education Reinvestment Act

HARRISBURG, May 12 – Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, today introduced the

Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act, an essential component of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2015-16 budget. 

“I am honored to push forward the governor’s proposal to reinvest in education,” Davidson said. “This is the vehicle to make that happen and I implore my fellow legislators to support it for the children of our commonwealth.”

Davidson’s H.B. 1142 would impose a tax on the extraction of natural gas within the state to raise needed revenue for our state’s public education system.

“The previous administration cut education funding by $1 billion,” Davidson said. “We need to reverse these cuts and properly fund education, without further burdening homeowners with higher property taxes.”

The tax proposed in the Education Reinvestment Act is modeled after the severance tax in West Virginia, which has also seen a boom in production from unconventional drilling over the last decade.

The severance tax would impose a rate of 5 percent on the market value of gas extracted in Pennsylvania (with a floor of $2.97), along with an additional 4.7 cents per cubic foot extracted. 

Davidson noted that Pennsylvania currently ranks 45th in the nation in percentage of state-provided funding for public education.

“With Pennsylvania sitting on one of the largest deposits of natural gas in the world, it is up to us to use this resource wisely so it benefits all Pennsylvanians and helps fund our schools,” Davidson said. 

Davidson added that enactment of a fair and reasonable severance tax would not render Pennsylvania any less favorable for drilling than neighboring states, all of which currently impose an extraction tax on natural gas production.