Pennsylvanians To Receive A Gas Tax Hike, While The Timber Industry Gets A Tax Exemption
Yesterday as I opened my Face Book page after not being on Face Book for three days, the first thing that hits me in the face is an entry by Rep. Jesse White 46th District.
In his entry Jesse explains about the 28.5 cent tax on gasoline, which will be used for fixing roads and bridges that are being destroyed by the added heavy traffic from fracking in our area. Jesse also explains why he voted no on the bill. Below is a small excerpt from that entry.
I simply could not justify voting for a 28.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax increase to fix roads and bridges in my district that are being disproportionately damaged by the Marcellus Shale industry, an industry that does not pay one penny for the repair and maintenance of those roads and bridges (the Impact Fee does not go towards state transportation funding). A comprehensive transportation proposal should include shared sacrifice, and I could not in good conscience vote to put the burden solely on the backs of my constituents while allowing the out-of-state companies who are a large part of our infrastructure problems to get away without being any part of the solution to those problems. I also disagreed with the changes to the Prevailing Wage, insisted upon by Republican leadership, that will hurt working middle-class Pennsylvanians.
I am against this bill because, when the legislature drew up the Section of Act 13 that deals with the Impact (Tax) Fee it was drawn up to only take a 1% which is the lowest of any state in which has fracking within its borders. A 4% tax on the Industry would have been enough not to rape the citizens at the pumps.
Now to be fair we cannot make the industry fix every inch of our highways and secondary roads, however they must be made to contribute towards that goal.
Here’s Your Kick In The Teeth
Well there is nothing like kicking the citizenry of the Keystone State in the teeth while you are taxing them down. Today less than 24 hours after passing the gas tax, the state legislature passed HB 1138, which gives a sales tax exemption to the timber industry. What makes this bad is that Georgia Pacific (GP) will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this break. Just for the record G.P. is an out of state company and owned by the Koch Brothers. If anyone needs a break on taxes, it is the Brother Koch.
In my opinion, if there was ever a time the citizens need to flood the streets of capital it is now. What they are doing is a distribution of wealth or a (“Reverse Robin Hood”). We are in an economy that is setting on the edge of a cliff and instead of cutting the middle class a break, they are adding more burden. Moreover, in a place that will hurt the most, “The Gas Pump”.