Should Higher Taxes be a “Priority”?

Here is a letter I sent the Patriot News on a natural gas jobs tax:

Your August 31 editorial states that a natural gas tax should be the state legislature’s “No. 1 Priority”.   This seems to be a solution looking for a problem.  Which of the many issues facing Pennsylvania would a tax on this job-creating industry solve?

While your editorial uses environmental concerns to drum up support, a tax would do nothing to protect the environment.  In fact, the revenue from the proposed tax would not even go toward environmental protection, but rather to the General Fund to finance Gov. Rendell’s pork spending.  

Gas drillers are paying for the cost of environmental inspections through license fees and mitigation costs through fines.  Drillers are putting millions into repairing and even improving local roads.  And the revenue drilling already brings-corporate income taxes, leasing fees and royalty payments, and income taxes from local job creation-is overlooked.

If companies were forced to pay another tax, where would that money come from?  Certainly not from a pot of money hidden under a corporate CEO’s mattress, but from future investment in Pennsylvania, wages for workers, or even companies’ spending on safety measures.

The notion that an industry should be taxed simply because it can be taxed is more than just faulty logic. It’s bad policy.