DeLissio urges vote on shale tax

HARRISBURG, July 14 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., joined her colleagues from both sides of the aisle to push for a reasonable measure to help bring in sustainable revenue for Pennsylvania – a severance tax on the extraction of Marcellus Shale resources.

DeLissio signed a letter to House Speaker Mike Turzai urging him to bring to a vote a fair tax on Marcellus Shale. She also supported a discharge resolution calling on the House to bring up H.B. 113, a severance tax measure sponsored by Rep. Kate Harper, R-Montgomery.

“With Pennsylvania’s credit ratings at risk, we cannot continue to borrow our way out of this fiscal crisis or to continue to use one-time transfers as we have for the past two administrations that I have been in office,” DeLissio said. “A fair severance tax is supported by an overwhelming number of Pennsylvania residents, and it would help us generate the recurring revenue that we desperately need.”

DeLissio is a co-prime sponsor with colleague Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, of H.B. 1401, which would create a 3.2 percent severance tax on unconventional natural gas extraction, in addition to the existing impact fee. Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state that does not impose a severance, or drilling, tax.

Support for a severance tax is growing on both sides of the aisle. House Bill 1401 has bipartisan co-sponsors, DeLissio said, and Republicans and Democrats signed the letter to Turzai.

“There is growing recognition that this is a step we need to take,” DeLissio said. Even the Marcellus Shale industry does not object to a reasonable tax if some regulatory relief can also be negotiated. This tax would generate funds we could use to invest in education, pay down our pension debt, and support human services. We’ve been talking about it for years, and now is the time to act.”