Governor Wolf’s proposed budget plan for including an additional severance tax on natural gas development in Pennsylvania has been criticised by API-PA Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman as it will harm job growth and weaken the state’s economy.
Wissman said, “this governor’s proposed tax hike could threaten the future of our state’s best job creators. The current local impact tax, which is collected from every shale drilling site in the state, has distributed more than US$630 million to communities since 2012, including more than US$224 million in just 2014. That’s on top of over US$2.1 billion in state and local taxes already generated by our industry.”
As recorded by the Governor’s Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania continues to shatter the commonwealth’s records in natural gas production, producing more natural gas each year. Last year, the commonwealth was among the top two states in the nation for natural gas production with 4 trillion ft3 of natural gas produced, a 30% increase on 2013’s record production numbers.
Wissman concluded, “more growth means more jobs and more revenue; higher taxes mean driving development away from Pennsylvania, costing jobs and the loss of revenue which can pay for education, transportation, healthcare, and other state programs. The governor should focus on choosing forward looking pro energy policies that will continue to benefit the commonwealth and its citizens.”
Edited from press releases by Claira Lloyd