Taxes and Taxes and Taxes, Oh My!

A recent NPR article notes that Pennsylvania “gathers less than 1 percent of its total tax receipts from an impact fee” on natural gas production (emphasis mine). Naturally, the Wolf Administration uses this to support its call for higher taxes.

But the article fails to mention the other side of that formula: Pennsylvania gets most of its tax revenue from other tax sources.

Indeed, of the states on NPR's chart:

  • Alaska, Wyoming and Texas have no individual income tax. Gov. Wolf wants to raise Pennsylvania’s.
  • Alaska has no sales tax. Gov. Wolf wants to raise and expand Pennsylvania’s.
  • Texas and Wyoming have no corporate income tax. Pennsylvania has the second-highest tax rate in the industrialized world.
  • Texas, Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota all have no death tax. Only New York collects more in death tax revenue than Pennsylvania.

Instead of following the lead of other states by lowering our overall tax burden and cutting sales, income, corporate, and inheritance taxes, Gov. Wolf is proposing the largest tax increase in America.

In contrast to NPR's one-sided analysis, our policy memo on the proposed energy tax offers an apples-to-apples comparison of state taxes. Our analysis also notes that Gov. Wolf's proposal would impose the highest effective severance tax rate (17 percent) in the country. The current impact fee represents an effective tax rate of 4.7 percent, according to the Independent Fiscal Office.