Grove Denounces Largest Natural Gas Tax in Nation
HARRISBURG – Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) released the following statement regarding his negative vote on Senate Bill 1155, which would institute the nation’s largest severance tax on natural gas:
“Not only was the way in which this proposal was brought to the floor dubious, but I also question the constitutionality of the measure because revenue bills must originate in the House. If you have to use procedural tricks to get legislation to the floor, it says a lot about the bill’s merits. Because of the way in which the bill came up, we were only able to consider one amendment to improve the legislation, which required a rule suspension.
“This is an excessive tax that could kill one of the only job-creating industries we have in the Commonwealth right now. Not only will the tax be extreme at its implementation, but it will also grow exponentially as the index on which it is based increases. The bottom line is this tax will be passed onto the consumers who rely on gas for heating their homes, heating their water and cooking their food.
“I find the distribution of the revenues from this tax disturbing. The General Fund will get the lion’s share of the funding, which will only add to the tax and spend mentality of the administration. The 16 percent allocated to local governments will not even cover one mile of road paving, but it is these local governments that will feel the impact of the drilling. The programs directly impacting Marcellus Shale gas extraction oversight and clean up will only receive 19 percent of the total allotment. Like gambling expansion, which was supposed to be for property relief, this severance tax is a ploy for more government spending, not a genuine effort to protect the environment.”
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