The Democratic-controlled house is currently pushing a measure to use just 20% of the proposed severance tax on shale drilling for host communities and the environment. The other 80% will be dumped into the Harrisburg black hole a.k.a. the general fund.
One estimate stated that $300 million could be raised by this tax. If that were true, Democrats want to take only $60 million and split it between protection of the environment and as an offset to costs incurred by host communities. They will keep the remaining $240 million for themselves.
Not one person that votes for that kind of arrangement can call themselves an environmentalist, conservationist, or an honest politician for that matter.
This is being billed as a means to protect the environment and help our local communities yet they put forward a proposal where only a small percentage of the money will actually be used for that purpose.
This tax is a sham. All the Democratic House Leadership wants to do is shovel more tax money into their coffers. Hopefully, this will be transparent to the taxpayers. Every candidate for office should be asked why Harrisburg needs 80% of the new taxes raised on this and the communities and the environment only deserve 20%. It certainly cannot because they have done such a good job with the money they have been given so far.
Democratic Governor Rendell has been habitually late with his budgets. If he worked in the private sector, he would have been fired a long time ago. He and his Harrisburg cronies have consistently spent money they didn’t have and now they think they deserve more?
This is the worst case of three card monte being played on the taxpayers in a long time.