On behalf of my family’s small business, Sugar Hollow Water Services and myself, General Manager Bill Hampton, I would like to express my large dissatisfaction with the newly proposed budget and how a severance tax affects my business. The biggest part of our small business at Sugar Hollow is supplying water to the natural gas industry. To do this, we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that the water we provide has been drawn from our rivers and streams in a manner that protects the environment.
As a water supply small business, we rely on the companies and organizations that need our water to operate. Therefore, if the natural gas industry prospers, we prosper, too. Likewise, if the natural gas industry does poorly, we do poorly, too. That’s why the severance tax Governor Wolf is proposing will harm my family, our small business and the entire community in our region who also depend on the natural gas industry to support the economy.
If the natural gas industry is taxed heavily, they will pull back production and development in our communities, leaving our small business with no business in our area. The low price of oil and gas has already put a strain on our small business as it is. We have already had to lay off our employees who have since become our family, cut costs and prevent future opportunities for hiring local citizens from the region. The newly proposed severance tax on the oil and gas industry will just put an additional strain on Sugar Hollow Water Services, forcing us to lay off additional workers, be unable to hire more, and lose money overall. The job security for our current workers will diminish, leaving them uncertain that they will be able to continue to provide for their families in the future. Not only Sugar Hollow, but many other small businesses will suffer, their workers will suffer and in result, the families of this region will suffer. The severance tax will affect everyone.
We need to do something to stop Governor Wolf from passing this proposed severance tax. We, as business owners, must stand up and fight for our livelihoods and the community we’ve worked so hard to build. We need to stick together and make our voices heard so that the politicians in Harrisburg will realize what a mistake this severance tax would be to our communities and all of Pennsylvania. If you want to stand with me and hundreds of thousands of other Pennsylvanians then get involved. Write a letter to your legislators (you can find them here) and have your voice heard.
Tell them how much the severance tax would negatively affect our community and our families. Tell them that the natural gas industry isn’t the only one being harmed by this. Tell them that if they care at all about the everyday citizens of Pennsylvania, then they will do something about it.