Oberlander Says Tax Increase Should be Last Resort
HARRISBURG – In sending a clear message to the governor about the lack of support for his billion-dollar tax plan, Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) cast a “no” vote today on a proposal to raise the Personal Income Tax by 16 percent and impose the nation’s largest severance tax on natural gas.

“Ever since the governor unveiled his tax proposal back in March, residents and small business owners throughout the 63rd District have consistently told me they cannot afford an increase in the income tax and they are rightly concerned that a severance tax could essentially freeze all the positive economic activity from Marcellus Shale development,” Oberlander said. “Asking our residents to pay even more in taxes should be the last resort, and I’m hopeful the governor now realizes that.”

Under the governor’s revised tax plan, which was announced on Tuesday, the Personal Income Tax would increase from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent – a 16 percent hike – and a severance tax of 3.5 percent, plus another 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet, on top of the impact fee. That would calculate to the nation’s largest tax on the natural gas industry, even though the tax would provide only 5 percent of the new revenue generated by the governor’s tax plan.
“As co-chair of the House Gas and Oil Caucus, I have seen the positive impact the Marcellus Shale has had here in the 63rd District and across the state,” Oberlander said. “Not only has the industry created good jobs for our hard-working families, but it has led to development of new and exciting technologies and more affordable natural gas to heat our homes this winter. I do not want to see all of those gains destroyed by a punitive tax.”

Oberlander emphasized that she hopes that this vote would signal a new direction for budget negotiations and would lead to a responsible, reasonable agreement that funds core functions of government while being mindful of those paying the bills.

Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
RepOberlander.com / Facebook.com/RepOberlander
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