The CLEAR Coalition today reiterated its support for a shale excise tax and applauded efforts led by Sen. Vincent Hughes to force oil companies reaping profits from Pennsylvania to pay their fair share.
Sen. Hughes, the Minority Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced plans to introduce legislation to impose a 5-percent severance tax on natural-gas drilling in the state's Marcellus Shale region. The tax would generate more than $1 billion in new funding for the state by 2020.
CLEAR represents more than 1.1 million nurses, teachers, first responders, healthcare providers and other public employees across Pennsylvania. In addition to a shale excise tax, the Coalition supports efforts to modernize and improve the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and the PA Lottery to enhance consumer convenience and increase state revenues.
"Gov. Corbett's budget policies have failed miserably and it's time to change course. We're in the governor's 4th year and the state is looking at a budget deficit of close to $1 billion. It's time that Tom Corbett step up and represent Pennsylvanians – not huge, multi-national oil companies," said Kathy J-ellison, President of SEIU Local 668.
"There is no good reason why Pennsylvania is the only significant natural gas producing state in the nation that does not impose an excise tax. It's time that big oil pay their fair share."
The Philadelphia Daily News reported today that Pennsylvania was the second-largest gas-producing state in the country, according to preliminary 2013 data, but is the only one among the top 11 gas-producing states that does not tax the industry.