For Immediate Release
January 31, 2019
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to place an additional tax on the natural gas industry to help pay for a bond that would fund his new “Restore Pennsylvania” initiative:
“While the PA Chamber agrees that a priority should be placed on infrastructure development, we do not agree punitive energy taxes are the best means to achieve this goal. Rather, we encourage policymakers to pursue pro-growth economic policies that will leverage our assets into greater opportunity for all Pennsylvanians. The Forge the Future economic analysis estimates this could mean more than 100,000 new jobs and billions in new state tax revenue as our energy and manufacturing sectors grow.
“As we continue to stress, the natural gas industry is already taxed through a competitive impact tax that so far has generated more than $1.5 billion. These dollars benefit every county in Pennsylvania and also help to fund the state’s Growing Greener program. In fact, 2018 impact tax collections brought in a record high amount and Pennsylvania is collecting more in impact tax revenues than Ohio, Colorado and West Virginia’s severance taxes combined. We also caution against targeting specific industries to pay for projects deemed by elected officials to be for the ‘common good.’
“While tax proponents call another tax on the natural gas industry ‘commonsense,’ to those in the position of determining where to extract the gas and create jobs, it would also be commonsense for them to decide to invest in other states in the shale play. Simply put, an additional tax on the industry to pay for a bond that would fund many of the projects that the impact tax is already going towards will hurt Pennsylvania’s competitiveness and economic climate.
“One of Pennsylvania’s greatest advantages is our affordable and accessible energy supply. However, we are at risk of losing this competitive edge if state elected officials continue to look at higher energy taxes as a way to generate more revenue for government spending. Make no mistake, capital is fluid and companies will move capital if they are not able to be profitable in a given location.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.