It could be three strikes for Gov. Corbett on the Grover Norquist tax pledge.
That's according to Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, which said in no uncertain terms that Corbett's plan to lift the cap on the oil company franchise tax is in fact a tax increase.
ATR's spokesman Patrick Gleasontold Capitolwire.com that Corbett's proposal is "a clear tax increase whose burden will be borne by consumers not company."
Corbett is expected to offer the oil franchise tax change as part of his budget proposal next month as a way to raise close to $2 billion for transportation improvements.
Americans for Tax Reform authored the no-new-net-taxes pledge Corbett signed in 2010 to neutralize GOP conservative critics after he said tax hikes were “on the table,” at an early campaign event.
Gleason said unless there is a tax cut to offset the hike, State officials said there is a plan to provide tax cuts in coming years. Capitolwire reports.
Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said there was no public statement by the administration or any of its officials but added he wasn't sure how ATR "could possibly define lifting the cap as a tax increase since lifting the cap does not raise taxes.”
If the gas tax appears in Corbett's budget address on Feb. 5, it would mark the third time Corbett has violated the anti-tax group's pledge, the group says.
The first was tightening efforts to collect sales tax from residents who purchase items from out-of-state internet vendors. Corbett said that tax was already due not collected.
Then Corbett signed the natural gas drilling impact fee bill.
Corbett and GOP lawmakers said the fee was imposed to offset impacts of the gas drilling industry - such as damage to roads - so therefore it was not a tax.