PA Chamber Responds to Wolf “Restore PA” Push

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Last week Gov. Tom Wolf held a press event in support of “Restore PA,” an initiative that would float a $4.5 billion bond to spend a few billion dollars on local projects now and be paid back over decades through higher energy taxes.  In response, PA Chamber President Gene Barr issued the following statement:

“While the PA Chamber agrees infrastructure development should be a priority, punitive energy taxes are not the best means to achieve this goal.  One of Pennsylvania’s greatest advantages is our affordable and accessible energy supply.  We are at risk of losing this competitive edge if state elected officials continue to call for higher energy taxes as a way to spend more government money. 

 “It’s important to note, despite tax proponents claims, the industry already pays state taxes.  In addition to paying one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country, the industry also pays the impact fee – which is unique to Pennsylvania.  Since it was enacted, the impact fee has generated nearly $1.7 billion, which has gone to every county across the state and has helped to fund critical local projects.

 “The administration has repeatedly touted the projects in the ‘Restore PA’ initiative as necessary for the public good.  As such, it shouldn’t fall on the back of one industry to pay for them.  We encourage policymakers to pursue pro-growth economic policies that will leverage our assets into greater opportunities for all Pennsylvanians. The Forge the Future economic analysis estimates this could mean more than 100,000 new jobs and billions in new state tax revenue as our energy and manufacturing sectors grow.”