PA-Gov: Wolf Presents Severance Tax Plan

Governor-WolfGovernor Wolf revealed his severance tax plan today.

As he mentioned during the campaign, it would be a 5% tax on natural gas drilling that would seek to restore the $1 billion in cuts to education.

The Governor’s proposal also includes a tax of 4.7 cents for every thousand cubic feet of gas drilled. It is modeled on the policies that neighboring West Virginia has in place.

“We can get Pennsylvania back on track, and we can start by passing a commonsense severance tax that will help fund our schools – an idea with bipartisan support,” Governor Wolf said. “The commonwealth ranks 45th in the nation in percentage of state funding for public education, and as a result, we have seen larger class sizes, fewer teachers, and vital program cuts. These cuts have made it more difficult for students to get a strong education in Pennsylvania’s public schools. This is the right thing to do for our children and our economy and to move Pennsylvania forward.”

Wolf is calling his plan the Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act and expects it to bring in a billion dollars by the 2017 fiscal year.

The act would include a number of exceptions including: gas given away for free, gas from low producing wells and wells brought back into production after not producing enough gas.

Wolf’s proposal would also shield property owners who are leasing land for natural gas exploration.

February 11th, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 23 Comments

23 thoughts on “PA-Gov: Wolf Presents Severance Tax Plan”

  1. Dave Ragu says:

    Thanks for doing nothing Wolf.

  2. WesternPA_Pete says:

    -By the way Craig L,
    Republican State Senate pick-up: +1 now 30-20
    Republican State House pick-up: +9 now 119-83

    The debate is far from over!

  3. WesternPA_Pete says:

    So Observer, sort of like repeating the MSNBC/George Soros propaganda. You obviously don’t know any professional teachers. If you did, they would be the first to tell you that parental involement is the single most important element in a child’s education. Regarding funding, my two eldest children attended school in the high-tax Fox Chapel school district, while my youngest two attended school in the low-tax South Butler County school district. All four recieved an excellent education in English, Math and the Sciences provided by very competent and dedicated teachers. I guess the difference was that Knoch HS is not as “fancy” as Fox Chapel HS, but my school taxes are less than half. Obviously you are that stupid… as your snarky comments demonstrate.

  4. Math says:

    This is not a 5% severance tax if it also includes another 4.7 cents per cf drilled. I have no problem with Wolf proposing a tax – he said he would. Let’s not call it 5% though when simple math shows it is more. Just like was revealed before the election, Wolf’s 5% numbers don’t come close to his promises…so he just tacked on some “extra” but didn’t call it what it is: part of the tax. Worst of all, anyone in a drilling community really gets screwed: the impact fee goes away. Congratulations Philly and Pittsburgh, your windfall comes in at the expense of everyone else – again.

  5. Jared says:

    Sorry “it makes me” should be in there. Doing this from a phone is a pain

  6. Jared says:

    Give the obvious disdain some commenters on here hold for teachers, what makes anyone think people would want to become teachers. I would love to be one myself but given some statements made here Italy’s me think why should I bother if this is what some of you think of teachers.

  7. Dave Ragu says:

    HOW ABOUT WE GET SOME EDUCATED TEACHERS IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TOM? The ones we have now can’t spell their own name.

  8. Dave Ragu says:

    Wolf falls flat on his face as was expected. Why not ban fracking statewide because it is TOXIC and causes mini earth quakes. If the only thing you are going to do is hike wages for the state employees who already are way way overpaid and replace people with your hacks then please resign.

  9. Denny Bonavita says:

    This is a reasonable proposal, and should be extended to shale, gravel, coal (if necessary) — everything mined or pumped, except water (and it wouldn’t hurt to put a tax on water used for deep well drilling, too). That wouldn’t be a “new” or “unfair” tax. It would close loopholes that have been in existence for decades due to the power of King Coal to buy lawmakers’ votes. However, the LEgislature should not act on this until it and Wolf have a “grand bargain” to at the same time fix the pension bubble disaster.

  10. Julie A. says:

    Does anyone think that we should let the government pick & choose which businesses to tax more than others? Pa already has the highest corporate tax rate in the nation (9.99%). There is an impact fee imposed on the marcellus wells. That money goes to the counties and municipalities most affected by the drilling, and of course to Philadelphia, because all roads lead to Philly.

    PA schools spend an average of 14,600 per pupil per year now! Why do we think that more money will solve our education problems.

    Pension Reform is what is needed, ask any school board member what their biggest expense is.

  11. old guard says:

    more money for education? Wolf’s new Secretary of Ed is from Lancaster and thanks to his “leadership” before going to H’Burg, we are facing a 12% tax increase for education. Give them money to waste !!!

  12. bobguzzardi says:

    the Republicans already imposed a tax. Let us see what the Republicans do this time.

    Marcellus Shale Coalition reminds us that natural gas drillers do pay a lot of taxes already, taxes drillers in other states do not pay:

    “Governor Wolf fails to acknowledge that the natural gas industry already pays significant taxes in Pennsylvania. Natural gas operators pay the same taxes that every other business in Pennsylvania pays, which has helped generate more than $2.1 billion through 2013. Pennsylvania is the only state that imposes a special impact tax that will have generated nearly $830 million by April of this year, directly benefiting all 67 counties throughout the Commonwealth. …”

    http://marcelluscoalition.org/2015/02/msc-statement-on-gov-wolfs-energy-tax-proposal/

  13. Craig L. says:

    We had this debate already and Wolf won… in a landslide.

    WOLF 54.93% 1,920,355 votes
    CORBETT 45.07% 1,575,511 votes

  14. Peggy says:

    Thank you Governor Wolf! You are doing the right thing.

  15. Kevin says:

    Dear “Observer” – So, if other states tax, we should tax too? That makes no sense. Just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean it is something we should do. Also, thank you for providing everyone here with the Democrat talking point about why PA should have a severance tax. Not that I needed to hear it again.

  16. Truth and Light says:

    There was a cut to state funding for education. To prop up the claim that it wasn’t, Republicans use only the Basic Education Subsidy line item in the state budget, which DID go up under Corbett, but there are OTHER line items in the state budget allocating STATE monies to education, and they were CUT with a chain saw. Those line items include reimbursements for charter schools and after-school mentoring programs.

  17. Observer says:

    It is a clear measure of the poor quality of PA’s rural schools that the comments below make no sense whatsover, and merely repeat Fox News/Koch Brothers propaganda.

    The FACT is, that Pennsylvania is the ONLY fracking state that has NO severance tax at all! Are we that stupid? Based on the nonsensical, non sequitur comments below, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

  18. WesternPA_Pete says:

    Does anyone think that the state legislature as currently constructed is going to pass this nonsense. It’s funny that those of us who chose not to live in these big urban areas can properly fund our schools and keep our taxes reasonably affordable. Education is not about funding, it’s about parental involvement!

  19. Kevin says:

    I should add that I call on all members of the General Assembly to vote against this horrible legislation. Instead of raising taxes on natural gas drilling, how about changing the education funding formula? Wouldn’t that go further to providing a more balanced school funding structure?

  20. Kevin says:

    All of you residents of PA that do not live in Pittsburgh/Philadelphia, just where do you think that the additional education money will be going? It will be going to Pittsburgh and Philly. People like myself, who live in parts of Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh/Philly will end up shafted once again since the funding formula for education has not been changed. We’ll end up with higher bills and more taxes, and nothing else to show for it. Not to mention that, like John O’Donnell said, the entire premise that this tax increase is based upon is bogus. Ed Rendell used “shovel-ready” money from the Federal Gov’t to drastically increase education funding for one year. We all should also not forget that all of the tax revenue that the state receives goes directly into the general fund. There is nothing that will prevent Gov. Wolff or anyone in the General Assembly from using it for whatever they really want to fund…not necessarily education. Even if a portion goes to education to increase its funding, the rest can be spent anywhere they want. Our education system in PA is failing our kids not because of a lack of funding but because of too much state and federal involvement!! We the school tax payers should be the ones to work with our school boards to make sure our schools improve.

  21. Josh S. says:

    Thank you Governor Wolf!

  22. Frank says:

    This is what governor wolf campaign on.way to keep your promise.Education is a top priority.

  23. John O'Donnell says:

    The $1,000,000,000 was not cut and you know that. That money came from a temporary Federal source. Any school decisions based on continuing to have that money was a pipe dream. Probably literally.
    Throwing money at problems has not and never will solve the problems. The ability to tax is the ability to destroy. Wolf is picking on a Pennsylvania industry that is beginning to be successful. It is sad to see a “businessman” ignore the tenets of business when Governor.

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