HARRISBURG – On Monday Gov. Tom Wolf was joined by a bipartisan coalition of legislative members to announce the introduction of legislation that will create a reasonable, commonsense severance tax in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 1000, and its companion House Bill 2253, will give Pennsylvania’s citizens their fair share of revenues from the natural gas industry.
“Since day one of my term as governor, I have fought to enact a reasonable severance tax that would give Pennsylvanians their fair share of the energy boom that is powered by resources that belong to all of us,” said Wolf.
“I, along with this bipartisan coalition, am here to call on the House and Senate to pass these bills and get them to my desk so that they can become law and Pennsylvanians can begin to get the benefits that other states have had for years.”
Pennsylvania is the only gas-producing state in the nation without a severance tax. Other major gas producing states like Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alaska are collecting billions from the oil and gas industries to help fix roads, build schools, and keep taxes low.
According to the Governor’s Office, Pennsylvania is blowing most other states out of the water when it comes to production and by joining every other gas-producing state and passing a severance tax, the commonwealth could realize billions in new revenue.
The proposed severance tax would generate an estimated $248.7 million in the next fiscal year alone to address critical budget needs and would also keep the current impact fee in place, ensuring that this important revenue source for local municipalities stays intact.
“The measured severance tax and responsible permitting reforms, embodied in SB 1000, is fair to taxpayers and unleashes the full potential of the natural gas industry to create jobs all across Pennsylvania,” said Senator John Yudichak.
“I applaud Governor Wolf who has brought together Republicans and Democrats around the central idea that a fair severance tax is essential to protecting the environment and leveraging broader job growth in the natural gas industry.”
“This modest proposal strikes the right balance between asking drillers to pay their fair share and giving them room to grow and continue providing jobs and economic benefits to our state,” said Rep. Bernie O’Neill.
“The added revenue to the commonwealth will help us provide additional support to education, human services and environmental programs and more.”
“As Democratic Chairman of the House Finance Committee I am always working toward fair tax policy,” said Rep. Jake Wheatley. “Pennsylvania shouldn’t be the only gas producing state in the country without a severance tax benefiting our communities and the needs of our state.”