The Republican-led Pennsylvania House energy committee has voted 15-11 along party lines for an amendment to change the name of the state's "impact fee" to "severance tax." The committee hasn't voted to move the amendment to the House floor. In a procedural move, the amendment would block a resolution filed by Democrats to bring a severance tax bill to the floor for a vote. It also comes after the state Senate passed a revenue package to fund the state budget that calls for establishing a severance tax on unconventional natural gas production. The impact fee was established in 2012 and is charged annually on nearly all unconventional wells in the state during their first 15 years of operation. Producers have paid more than $1.2 billion in impact fees for distribution to local communities and state agencies since it was enacted. House energy committee Chairman John Maher told local news media that changing the impact fee's name would help to demonstrate that producers have a significant tax burden in the state.
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