Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Support the Marcellus Shale Severance Tax

(from our friends at the SEPA Budget Coalition and Better Choices for Pennsylvania)

As the Pennsylvania House and Senate come back into session, the House is making plans to debate a severance tax on natural gas.  The severance tax is necessary to make up for the reduced FMAP allocation and has already been included in this year's state budget. Without it, Pennsylvanians can expect at least $70 million in cuts this year alone in addition to the cuts that have already been made. In the future, the severance tax will play a major role in state budgets - if industry production estimates are accurate, the severance tax could be the 4th largest state revenue source..

House members are debating the structure of the tax. It is important that education, health and human service groups weigh in to remind our representatives that kids, seniors and people with disabilities should not be forgotten in this debate.

We are asking you to support the following:
  • A strong severance tax that does not include unnecessary exemptions and loopholes
  • A fair allocation for critical public services supported through the General Fund.
  • The $70 million promised by the Governor to avoid further cuts.

There are a few ways you can get engaged:
  • Add your organization's name to this sign-on letter if you have not already done so (You can sign-on by contacting the SEPA Budget Coalition by email or phone ((215) 563-5848 x 16))
  • Call your legislators next Monday and Tuesday as the House prepares to vote on a Shale bill.
  • Join one of the rallies that are being planned across the state to focus on the budget.

For more information on the Severance Tax, please read the resources provided by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

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