Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Agreement On Severance Tax Yet

As the General Assembly's October 1 deadline for passing a natural gas severance tax draws closer, more and more supporters of the efforts are losing faith that it will be approved. The Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania House has yet to call a vote on a severance tax, and it's unclear when or even if that will happen.
During a rally at the Capitol rotunda against gas drilling, Delaware County Democratic Representative Greg Vitali, who supports a severance tax, said that leaders from both parties were just posturing on the issue, and don't plan on passing the tax.....

"Don't let them fool you. If the House shoots over a bill to the Senate, and the Senate shoots over a bill to the House, and they try to tell you they've worked on this issue, they're just not telling the truth. What they want to do is, they want to get out of town, do no harm and get themselves reelected."

Bu Brett Marcy, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, says leaders have been working...
"I think there's a big difference between what you see in public and what you see in private. And the bottom line is, we've been having an awful lot of discussions with all the stakeholders on this issue for months now...and not just weeks, but months. So I would not be discouraged. The House Democratic Caucus remains committed to this issue."

Senate Republican leaders say they're waiting for the House to pass a tax before they take up the issue. The Republican leaders wants a lower tax rate than the levy that Democrats are pushing for. Governor Ed Rendell says he will veto a rate he considers to be too low.

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