House lawmakers are ready to vote Today on a gas tax – after a marathon debate, and favorable vote on an amendment last night.
The amendment sets aside $70 million dollars in gas tax revenue for the general fund, the next $5 million goes for training. Once it reaches the $75 million threshold, municipalities, and environmental protection gets to divide up the rest.
The revenue model factors in 39 cents a thousand cubic feet – making for the costliest tax on the gas industry in the nation.
Brett Marcy, spokesperson for Democratic House majority leader Todd Eachus, told RocktheCapital – “there is a real urgency in the caucus, in the commonwealth, and for taxpayers, we are trying real hard to get this done.”
Done is relative, because the gas tax – at least the rate Democrats are pining for – faces stiff opposition in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.
Drew Crompton, an aide to Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, told the Republican Herald, that “it is simply the wrong message to an upstart industry trying to expand much-needed jobs in Pennsylvania.”
GOP leaders in the Senate want a kinder severance tax, one that calls for the gas industry not to have to dig too deep in its pocket – something along the lines of a 1.5% tax to start.
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