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Helm Says Marcellus Shale Tax Would Hurt the State’s Economy

Helm Says Marcellus Shale Tax Would Hurt the State’s Economy
HARRISBURG – Rep. Sue Helm (R-Susquehanna Township) today issued the following statement after casting a dissenting vote on the Marcellus Shale severance tax, which passed the House by a vote of 104 to 94:
“I believe a fair natural gas severance tax may be appropriate, but the proposal put forward in Senate Bill 1155 is too high and has the potential to further harm the state’s economy.
“The natural gas drilling industry is moving full steam ahead by providing good-paying jobs to the citizens of Pennsylvania. What House Democrats have pushed through is nothing more than excessive taxation at the expense of the people of Pennsylvania. We cannot continue the policies of high taxes and expect our economy to recover. We must foster job growth that will put people back to work in family sustaining jobs.
“If this bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would be the only state in the union to have this high of a severance tax rate. Our neighboring states have low tax rates, which would attract natural gas drilling companies to those areas since they would be viewed as business friendly and pro-economic growth.
“A common misconception is that drilling companies that are already operating in Pennsylvania are not paying taxes. This is completely wrong; these companies are subject to paying the Corporate Net Income Tax and the many other business taxes.
“Pennsylvania has the opportunity to become a leader in the natural gas drilling industry and a significantly high tax rate right out of the gate will hurt the local and state economies as well as forcing more of our citizens into unemployment.
“This legislation also fails to return a significant portion of the revenue generated to those municipalities that host these drilling sites. I believe it is prudent for a large portion of the tax revenue to be used to benefit those communities.”
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