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News: Preserve Severance Tax Funding for Municipalities

  • On Wednesday, Feb. 11, Gov. Tom Wolf released additional details about his plan to enact a natural gas severance tax in Pennsylvania.
  • The following statement is from David M. Sanko, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.

Feb. 11, 2015

Ginni Linn
PSATS Director of Communications
(717) 763-0930, ext. 127

PSATS on Severance Tax: Preserve Funding for Municipalities

“Pennsylvania has serious fiscal issues, but PSATS is concerned that many see a severance tax as the solution to all of the state’s problems. Local impacts, environmental protection, pensions, public safety, human services, and education funding all lay claim to these potential dollars.

“Meanwhile, Act 13 requires that, if enacted, a severance tax would eliminate the local natural gas impact fee. Since 2011, this funding has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to townships and other municipalities for transportation, public safety, the environment, flood control, water and sewer systems, and recreational facilities.

“PSATS is very concerned about the loss of these local impact fee revenues, which are invaluable to our townships and their taxpayers. The natural gas industry has helped and should continue to help communities that have been affected by drilling and the costs associated with this economic development opportunity.

“That said, Governor Wolf’s proposal represents a first step in the dialogue, and PSATS is committed to ensuring that any plan doesn’t change the distribution model for municipalities that are currently receiving impact fee revenues. We commend Governor Wolf’s commitment to this position as evidenced in his policy statement to the Legislature, where he said: ‘My proposal would continue the payments made to communities impacted by drilling that are currently funded by the impact fee.’

“We look forward to working with the Legislature and the governor to preserve this valuable community resource that helps to keep local property taxes down.”