The four leading Democrats running for governor in Pennsylvania have one specific common theme: Tax the firms drilling for natural gas (“Democratic Hopefuls United for Shale Gas Severance Tax,” May 5). Over the past three years, the natural gas installations have created tens of thousands of new and needed jobs for Pennsylvanians. This alone has reaped the state millions of dollars in tax revenues.
If one of the candidates succeeds as governor and implements the tax, the loss of revenues to drilling firms will be offset by less drilling and reductions in workforce. Any firm is motivated by what it costs to invest in any venture versus return/profit. The Democratic candidates use their standard ploy, “tax the rich guys/firms,” but never address the negative effects of their campaign pitches. The tax is purported to be for education, but what tax in Pennsylvania has ever wound up with its intended target?
Pennsylvania sits on top of the largest natural gas deposits in America. It has the capability of solving the energy crisis, employing thousands more Pennsylvanians and filling the state coffers with tax revenues. This can be severely damaged with a severance tax. One candidate is suggesting a severance tax as high as 10 percent.
The adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is very much in play here.