Thursday, April 23, 2015

Senate Committees Hold June 1 Joint Hearing On Severance Tax Proposals

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Finance Committees are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on natural gas severance tax proposals on June 1.
There are 5 severance tax bills pending in the Senate, two Republican and three Democrat--
-- Senate Bill 395 (Brewster-D-Allegheny) adopting a 5 percent severance tax all devoted to education funding, while keeping the impact fee, but crediting what producers pay to the severance tax (sponsor summary).
-- Senate Bill 415 (Haywood-D-Montgomery) providing for an 8 percent natural gas severance tax with the proceeds dedicated to these uses: $100 million dollars off the top would go to the Growing Greener Program; 60 percent of the money would go to fund Public Schools; and 40 percent would go towards reducing the unfunded pension liability (sponsor summary).
-- Senate Bill 519 (McGarrigle-R-Delaware) which would impose a 4 percent tax on the value of natural gas at the wellhead.  All the revenue from the tax would be devoted to fund basic education and nothing for any environmental restoration program (sponsor summary).
-- Senate Bill 719 (Tomlinson-R-Bucks) providing for a 5 percent natural gas severance tax with proceeds dedicated to state employee and school employee pension funds (sponsor summary).
-- Senate Bill 741 (Leach-D-Montgomery) imposing a 5 percent natural gas severance tax to create the Pay It Forward, Pay It Back Pennsylvania college scholarship fund (sponsor summary).
The severance tax proposed by Gov. Wolf has not yet been introduced in the Senate or House.
The hearing will be held in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building starting at 10:30 a.m.
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Environmental Committee and Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) serves as Minority Chair of the Committee.
Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair) serves as Majority Chair of the Finance Committee and Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna) serves as Minority Chair.

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