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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 10, 2018 01:07 PM
From: Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr. and Rep. Bernie O'Neill
To: All House members
Subject: Bipartisan Severance Tax
The time has come for the General Assembly to listen to the people of Pennsylvania and finally pass a natural gas severance tax. This issue has been debated for a decade. We not only have an obligation to lead, but to get it done. We must stand with our constituents and build an economy that works for everybody instead of catering to special interests. Within the next several days, we will introduce House Bill 2253 on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians who support a reasonable natural gas severance tax.

All across the Commonwealth, from the school teacher to the electrician, to the small business owner to the welder, working Pennsylvanians are contributing their fair share to support the needs of our communities. We cannot ask our citizens to pay taxes on the goods they purchase and on the wages they earn, while multi-national corporations extract such a valuable commodity from underneath our land without paying a tax.

Pennsylvania is now the 2nd largest producer of natural gas in the United States, yet we are the only producing state without a severance tax. This means Pennsylvanians are paying other states’ severance taxes while sending our natural gas out of state and receiving nothing in return.

Our legislation proposes a progressive tax structure based on the price of gas from the preceding calendar year as follows:

Price Range Rate per MCF
$1.00 - $3.00 4.2¢
$3.01 - $4.99 5.3¢
$5.00 – $5.99 6.4¢
$6.00 or greater 7.4¢

The Governor’s Budget Office estimates this legislation would generate approximately $248 million in the first year, growing to as much as $400 million by Fiscal Year 2022-2023. We encourage every member to stand with the majority of taxpaying citizens by co-sponsoring House Bill 2253, opening the door for a needed severance tax in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HB2253