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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Capitol Update From State Representative Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, February 13, 2015 The latest news from the State Capitol

Wolf Severance Tax Proposal Bad for Rural PA


Earlier this week, Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a plan to impose a natural gas severance tax on both unconventional AND conventional gas wells at an effective rate of 7.5 percent, one of the highest drilling taxes among gas-producing states in the nation.

Specifically, the governor has proposed a 5 percent tax on the value of the gas at the wellhead, plus 4.7 cents per 1,000 cubic feet. This would be on top of the corporate taxes already paid by gas operations in the Commonwealth.

In addition to the high rate of the tax and the devastating impact it would have on our conventional operators here, I am also concerned by the fact the governor does not intend to keep the current impact fee structure intact. Communities in Cameron, McKean and Potter counties received more than $2.5 million in funding from the impact fees in the last year alone and millions more in the prior two years. While the governor has said a portion of the funds from his severance tax would go to communities impacted by drilling, we have not received any specific information about how he proposes to do that. Taxes and fees on drilling should go primarily to the communities impacted by those operations.

Rest assured I will be carefully reviewing the details of the governor’s plan as more information becomes available. We cannot afford to enact policies that force our oil and gas operators out of state or out of business entirely. These industries are a vital part of our local economy and help meet growing energy needs locally and across the country.
           

Thank you to the nursing students at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for inviting me to come to their class and talk about health care challenges facing the Commonwealth. Pictured left to right in the first row: Laura Kacprowicz, Erica Ignatz, Heather Chaffee, Jodi Irons, Maria Capato and Dr. Lisa Fiorentino. In the second row: Emily Jordan, Shannon Gatesman and me.  
 

Funding Challenges for PA Public Schools

Funding for public education is a perennial issue in the Legislature, as it should be. Nothing is more important than ensuring our children are prepared for the future. But how much money we need, how it is distributed and where it comes from are not easy questions to answer. Click below for my thoughts on the topic. 

watch video
 

Applications Available for 2014 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

The Department of Revenue announced this week that forms for the 2014 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program are now available. Forms and assistance with filing them are available – free of charge – at my offices in Bradford, Coudersport and Kane. You do NOT need to pay a private company a fee to get the benefits from this program.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2014. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities.

Eligibility income limits for homeowners are set at the following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits:

 • $0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate (Homeowners and renters).
 • $8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate (Homeowners and renters).
 • $15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate (Homeowners only).
 • $18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate (Homeowners only).

Please note, due to a law passed last year to ensure claimants aren’t disqualified from rebates solely because of Social Security cost-of-living-adjustments, homeowners and renters may be eligible for rebates even if their eligibility income is greater than these limits.

Any homeowner who collected Social Security, received a property tax rebate in 2013 for claim year 2012 and had annual income last year – discounting half of Social Security – up to $36,129, is encouraged to apply for a rebate for claim year 2014. Any renter who collected Social Security, received a rent rebate in 2013 for claim year 2012 and had annual income last year – discounting half of Social Security – up to $15,484, is also encouraged to apply.

Click here for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate form or contact my offices for assistance:

 • Bradford – 78 Main St., first floor. Telephone 814-362-4400.
 • Coudersport – 107 S. Main St., Room 1. Telephone 814-274-9769.
 • Kane – 55 Fraley St. Telephone 814-837-0880
 

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest here. The highest educated white collar and the hardest working blue collar local grads have already left the area. The gas companies are mainly left with horrible workers and have to ship people in. This area is like the movie 'Idiocracy'. It doesn't matter what the government does. This area will keep on suffering.

Anonymous said...

Quit electing hypocrite republicans and that wouldn't happen.

Anonymous said...

4:49 please either stop the illegal stuff or take you prescriptions as instructed by your doctor! Democrats have had total control for six years and have added NO net jobs at all! They make it look good on paper by lying and hiding the true numbers!

Anonymous said...

you have to refill all the jobs lost over the last 6 years before you can say that you have created a single job

Anonymous said...

Wolfe doesn't want anyone to know that the taxes generated by this will go into funding Philly and Harrisburg Welfare recipients. These are the biggest Democratic areas and he needs to keep funding entitlements so he can get reelected.

Anonymous said...

Oh you silly faux news watchers. Always good for a laugh.

Anonymous said...

6:57 My God can't you think of a better comeback?