ROUNDUP: Wagner Conspires With GOP Legislators To Kill Severance Tax For Political Reasons

Last week, bombshell audio was released of Scott Wagner telling a room of Tea Partiers that he conspired with House Republican Appropriations Chair Stan Saylor to kill the shale tax to hurt Governor Wolf’s re-election.

Pennsylvania is the only gas-producing state in the country that does not have a severance tax. Despite the fact that a majority of Pennsylvanians support making big oil and gas companies pay their fair share, Scott Wagner is conspiring with Republicans to kill the shale tax so he can boost his gubernatorial ambitions.

Check out the coverage here:

Hazleton Standard Speaker: Obstruction that’s costly

At a Sept. 14 political event in York County, Wagner revealed the real reason for his bloc’s steadfast opposition…. So, it’s not about damaging a supposedly fragile industry. It’s about precluding a governor from implementing a fair tax because Pennsylvanians, as they have since the American Revolution, would approve of fair taxation. If Pennsylvania could tax blind obstruction for political gain, it wouldn’t need a gas severance tax. The House should break the pattern by making a fair extraction tax part of a budget. 

AP: Wagner urged blocking shale tax to deny Wolf re-election 

A Republican state senator running for governor is on a recording telling a crowd that he’s urged House Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor to block a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production to hurt Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election chances. 

WITF: Controversy over Wagner’s severance tax remarks 

A state senator running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination next year has been urging fellow Republicans not to support a natural gas severance tax–in part because he thinks it would help Democratic Governor Tom Wolf politically. 

Pennlive: Did Sen. Scott Wagner try to kill a natural gas tax to help his campaign for governor?  

But rarely have electoral and budget politics intersected as closely as they did late last month when one of the men hoping to replace Wolf in 2018, GOP state Sen. Scott Wagner, directly appealed to a senior House Republican to kill a severance tax proposal now before the chamber.

Politics PA: Wagner: If The Severance Tax is Passed “The Governor is Going to Get Reelected”

A tracker for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party recorded audio of Gubernatorial candidate and state Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) discussing why he pushed for the severance tax that had passed the state Senate for fail in the state House. According to the Morning Call, Wagner said “I told Stan at a meeting three weeks ago, he was sitting like fifteen feet away from me, I said ‘Stan you cannot let this severance tax get through … because if that happens the governor is going to get reelected. Stan, you take that to the bank.’”

York Dispatch: Rep. Saylor denies Sen. Wagner’s influence on shale tax 

In late July, the state Senate narrowly passed a revenue package — with Wagner voting against it — that included a severance tax, one of Wolf’s campaign promises when he won election to his first term.

Wagner can be heard on the recording saying, “I said, ‘Stan, you cannot let this severance tax get through and it gets to the governor’s desk, because if that happens the governor is going to get re-elected. Stan, you take that to the bank.’