Harrisburg – Feb. 11, 2014 – Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to use the proceeds from a new 5 percent gas severance tax to fund education is being applauded by state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland).
“Using shale tax revenues to rebuild education following the severe cuts made by the Corbett administration is the right thing to do,” Brewster said. “These cuts have impacted our schools and burdened our taxpayers and new resources are desperately needed.
“The proposed 5 percent tax will not harm the industry and connecting it to education will help close the funding gap that has developed as a result of short-sighted policy and an ineffective shale impact fee.”
Brewster said that Corbett cut $1 billion from education during his tenure. The senator said that the entire education community has suffered as a result.
In mid-December, Brewster announced his plan to use severance tax revenue to make investments in education. Brewster’s “Extraction for Education” plan parallels Wolf’s proposed “Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act” in several ways, including the call for a 5 percent shale tax levy, the retention of impact fee payments to communities under the umbrella of the tax ceiling and the direct tie to education.
Brewster introduced his plan this session as Senate Bill 395. He said he expects consideration of a severance tax plan to be a part of budget negotiations this year.
“I am pleased that the governor has announced a reasonable shale extraction tax and that he plans to use the proceeds of the tax to support education,” Brewster said.
According to the governor’s office, the new levy will generate in excess of $1 billion by the end of 2017. The plan is modeled after the tax structure now in place in neighboring West Virginia.