Editor: These are truly unprecedented times in our history — not just here in Pennsylvania, but across the nation. If our elected leaders work together in a smart way, I am confident that together we will not only get through this crisis but use it as a springboard to lift all citizens into greater prosperity with a renewed focus on American industry.
Lackawanna County has formed a non-partisan task force which includes my state legislator, Mike Carroll, as a member. I urge Rep. Carroll and other members of the General Assembly who serve on this committee to consider pro-business solutions and incentives that will reopen our businesses’ doors and get folks back to work. As the map slowly transitions to green and our economy is allowed to reopen, the focus from our legislators needs to be on generating paychecks, not unemployment checks. When they get back to Harrisburg, I ask that they adopt the same pro-business philosophy which would necessitate a rejection of Gov. Wolf’s attempts to raise or create new taxes like a severance tax.
For Pennsylvania to adopt a new energy tax, a severance tax, at a time like this would be foolish and short-sighted. Since mid-March, America’s geopolitical adversaries have taken intentional steps to hurt domestic oil and gas production capabilities by flooding the market with cheap energy. To add additional taxes on an industry that is already being threatened by global forces will be a net benefit to America’s enemies exponentially more than it will boost Pennsylvania’s budget.
I urge all members of the General Assembly but particularly those members who have supported tax hikes in the past like my own state representative to reexamine their positions and instead, focus on pro-growth means of economic recovery.
Austin J. Schrader