|Posted:||March 5, 2019 11:48 AM|
|From:||Senator James R. Brewster|
|To:||All Senate members|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation to address education and environmental concerns through a responsible energy extraction tax. Finding resources to pay for school security, basic education, pipeline safety and environmental upgrades is critical. This is a targeted approach that will pay dividends for years to come.
The legislation would place a 5 percent tax on energy extraction. Under my plan, the local impact fee, now distributed to state and local governments, would not be impacted. However, gas drillers could credit their fee payment against their severance tax payment.
According to recent estimates, a 5 percent extraction tax would raise $502 million. Once the impact fee payments are deducted, the remaining $272 million would be evenly split between education and environmental initiatives.
The funding for education would be used to pay for improved school security and basic education support. As a member of the School Safety Task Force that has earmarked millions for school safety upgrades, I am aware of the ongoing need to improve safety at our school buildings. The funds would also be used to augment basic education dollars to help local school districts hold the line on property taxes.
The second half of the severance tax proceeds would be used to boost the number of pipeline and safety inspectors at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and state Department of Environmental Protection. Twenty percent of the funds would be allocated to pay for new personnel to inspect pipelines. The remaining 80 percent would be used for environmental cleanup programs.
In the 2015-2016 session, I introduced a similar version of this plan as Senate Bill 395.
Introduced as SB457