Severance tax would make PA's fiscal challenges - and your property tax burden - easier
Pennsylvania's stubborn fiscal problems would look a lot less challenging if we had $1.6 billion more for our schools, communities and residents.
That's how much revenue Pennsylvania has given up in the past 6 years by refusing to collect a severance tax from natural gas drillers.
Last year, the state generated just $173 million with its inadequate impact fee -- more than $14 million less than the previous year.
At the same time, the value of the natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania rose by 7%.
Natural gas production continues to rise in Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, because we refuse to levy a severance tax on gas, so do the household property taxes we increasingly rely on to support our schools and community services.
Rising property taxes threaten the homes of many senior citizens on fixed incomes and the financial security of many working families.
Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state without a severance tax on natural gas.
This failure isn't just a missed opportunity, it's a dereliction of duty.
A group of powerful legislators beholden to corporate special interests continues to block the commonsense severance tax that most Pennsylvanians support.
They insist on governing based on what's best for the drillers and wealthy gas corporations.
House Democrats believe we should be governing on behalf of what's best for you, your kids' schools, and the communities you and your family live and work in.
No one likes paying taxes.
But if we want a state budget that supports our schools, helps businesses create jobs and economic opportunity, and allows our communities to thrive, we need everyone to pay their fair share.
When you don't pay your taxes, the state says "No way!"
When the drillers don't pay their share, PA continues to say, "No problem."