Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What Grover says goes? Norquist issues ruling on shale 'fee'

The Inquirer reported last week that anti-tax guru Grover Norquist was the wizard behind the Oz-like fiscal contortions of the GOP-controlled state legislature.

What Grover says goes? Norquist issues ruling on shale 'fee'

0 comments

When is a fee a tax? When Grover Norquist says so.

The Inquirer reported last week that anti-tax guru Norquist was the wizard behind the Oz-like fiscal contortions of the GOP-controlled state legislature, which has refused to consider raising revenue of any kind in the face of a massive debt.

It was Norquist and his D.C.-based group, Americans for Tax Reform, who advanced the "no tax" pledge signed by hundreds of elected officials, including Gov. Corbett and 34 members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 

The state House - in keeping with Corbett's "no way, no-how" to new taxes - has buried any proposals to place a levy on Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction.

But this month Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) bit the bullet and offered up a shale gas "impact fee" with proceeds funneled to affected areas.

Over in the governor's office, Corbett remains unwavering in his campaign-era hard line over tax increases, but in recent months has shown some hint of openness - if not support - of the prospect of an "impact fee."

Until now.

Because Grover -arbiter of all things fiscal throughout the land - said so.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today reports that Norquist sent a letter to Sen. Mary Jo White (R., Venango) whose committee would have to consider the shale fee pronouncing it, in fact, a tax.

“Make no mistake, this proposal is a tax increase based on any honest and objective analysis,” Norquist wrote.

“As such, a vote in favor of Senate Bill 1100 also represents a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment which Gov. Corbett and 34 members of the legislature have made to their constituents to impose any and all efforts to raise taxes.”

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley told the Post-Gazette the governor is awaiting the report of his Marcellus Shale Commission - which will come after the budget deadline June 30- before making up his mind.

Scarnati said he got the Norquist letter too and responded by touting his record opposing the "spend-and-tax philosophy.” He also listed four reasons why he believes the impact fee is not a tax.

 

 

 

 

Click herefor Philly.com's politics page.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



Commonwealth Confidential
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter