Energy, manufacturing firms urge Pa. House to reject severance tax

August 10, 2017

Energy and manufacturing association officials are urging Pennsylvania's House of Representatives to reject a tax package that includes both a severance and use tax on natural gas that the state's Senate narrowly approved 2 weeks ago (OGJ Online, July 27, 2017).

"There's an old saying in the theater: Don't read the stage directions," Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Pres. David Taylor said during an Aug. 8 teleconference with reporters. "We're resolved to do what's necessary to convey the actual truth that putting new taxes on the natural gas industry will harm Pennsylvania."

Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Pres. Gene Barr said, "We realize this commonwealth has had problems for many years, especially with its pension system. But a second piece that concerns many of us is Pennsylvania's lackluster economic performance, which reduces revenue. One real asset Pennsylvania has is its energy. The opportunities it has presented and the economic benefits it has provided shouldn't be ignored."

Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, an American Petroleum Institute affiliate, said, "This is a backward approach that jeopardizes thousands of jobs. Already, reliable energy has provided a significant $1,300/year boost to the average Pennsylvania household. The Senate's bill places businesses in the commonwealth at a disadvantage. The main question is whether Pennsylvania wants investment and growth here, or elsewhere."

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