Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to throw his support behind two bills that would implement a severance tax on natural gas production.
Articles from Severance
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s latest proposal to implement a severance tax on natural gas production could generate more than $200 million annually in revenue over the next five years, according to an analysis of the 2018-2019 executive budget by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO).
If Pennsylvania were to implement a severance tax on natural gas production without additional protections for landowners, they would likely see smaller royalty checks, according to an analysis by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday in the final budget address of his first term again called on a joint session of the General Assembly “to do the right thing” and pass a proposal to implement a severance tax on natural gas production.
Another voting session came to an end in the Pennsylvania General Assembly on Thursday with no action on the latest severance tax legislation for unconventional natural gas production.
While another week was winding down at the Pennsylvania Capitol on Friday, lawmakers had already left town, out of ideas and no closer to funding the state’s $32 billion budget as the impasse entered its fourth month.
The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House late Wednesday narrowly passed a plan to fund the state’s $32 billion budget and plug its $2 billion-plus deficit, which does not include a severance tax on unconventional natural gas production like its Senate counterpart.
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.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives could soon vote on an alternative plan to fund the state budget that’s supported by Republican leadership and doesn’t include a severance tax on unconventional natural gas production or tax hikes for natural gas and electric utility customers, as the Senate-approved plan does.
A severance tax on unconventional natural gas production could be part of a final package to fund Pennsylvania’s state budget, said House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana County), but not if that package also includes gross receipts taxes for gas, electric and telephone utility customers.