- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
A Hundred Million Dollars Lost to Legislative Inaction on Severance Tax
Governor Ed Rendell made headlines across the state today with his announcement that efforts to enact a natural gas severance tax are "clearly dead" for the year. Good news for the natural gas industry; bad news for the people of Pennsylvania.
How bad? The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has been tracking in real-time the amount of severance tax revenue lost since October 1, 2009 by not having a tax in place. This weekend, the Severance Tax Ticker will hit $100 million!
That's $100 million that could have gone to protecting the environment in the Marcellus Shale region of the state and reimbursing local communities for some of the increased drilling-related costs they're incurring - things like road and bridge damage caused by heavy truck traffic and increased emergency response calls. Severance tax revenue could have prevented some of the cuts we've seen to early childhood programs, libraries and domestic violence shelters in the wake of the state's recession-driven revenue crisis.
The Legislature promised as part of last summer's state budget agreement to enact a severance tax by October 1, but state Senate leaders spent the fall session throwing up obstacle after obstacle to getting the job done. In the end, they adjourned without taking up the bill - putting the interests of out-of-state drillers like Exxon Mobil and Shell ahead of the interests of Pennsylvania communities.