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REGIONAL BUSINESS SEVERANCE TAX — continued from page 18

be deducted from royalty payments.


Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors: Very concerned about the loss of these local impact fee revenues “Pennsylvania has serious fiscal issues, but PSATS is concerned that many see a severance tax as the solution to all of the state’s problems . . . Meanwhile, Act 13 requires that, if enacted, a severance tax would eliminate the local natural gas impact fee. Since 2011, this funding has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to townships and other municipalities for transportation, public safety, the environment, flood control, water and sewer systems, and recreational facilities. PSATS is very concerned about the loss of these local impact fee revenues, which are invaluable to our townships and their taxpayers . . . That said, Gov. Wolf’s proposal represents a first step in the dialogue, and PSATS is committed to ensuring that any plan doesn’t change the distribution model for municipalities that are currently receiving impact fee revenues. We commend Gov. Wolf’s commitment to this position as evidenced in his policy statement to the Legislature, where he said: ‘My proposal would continue the payments made to communities impacted by drilling that are currently funded by the impact fee.’”

could lead to fewer wells being developed, fewer landowners collecting royalty payments, and fewer small businesses that provide products and services to the industry. It could also reduce job growth and produce an unfavorable regulatory and tax climate. Increased taxes could be passed onto consumers. Gov. Wolf and our policymakers need to take the right regulatory steps to encourage the continuation of this growth, not put a damper on it with the enactment of unreasonable taxes on what continues to be the state’s fastest-growing industry.”

Focusing on customer experience creates opportunity

redefined themselves are still viable. In our pursuit of building a business Take for instance the Apple Store; it that is successful, will support our family, specifically exists to answer the cusand will sustain us through thick and thin, tomer’s needs, with a staff well-trained we can focus our time believing that all in understanding complex customer that matters is dollars and cents. issues. Even the world of banking is However, as we dig deep into HOW to changing, people no longer need a Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center: Pleased. create a successful business, we realize that physical location to do their shopping, “Enacting a severance tax on the extraction of Santaniello the dollars and cents come when we have and they don’t need a physical location natural gas in Pennsylvania is long overdue. We, satisfied and loyal customers who return to to do their banking. As Brett King therefore, applaud Gov. Wolf’s proposal earlier our business over and over again. notes…”Banking is no longer a place you go, it’s today to establish such a tax at the same rate as In a 2014 Forrester Research report, companies something you do.” neighboring West Virginia’s tax.” that lead in customer experience outperform finanWhen we have an issue and we need advice, we Marcellus Shale Coalition president David cially the S & P 500 by 29 percent and outperform still want to talk directly to a person. Relationships Spigelmyer: New energy taxes will discourage the customer experience laggards by 75 percent. are as important as ever. At Fidelity Bank we have capital investment : The report also finds that for consumers, customer created a model of banking around the fact that we “Gov. Wolf fails to acknowledge that the natural experience trumps the price-value perception as a offer the best service, the best advice in the friendliest gas industry already pays significant taxes in loyalty driver for banks and retailers. environment. And that has worked very well for us. Pennsylvania. Natural gas operators pay the same So let’s think about the do we We have been named the best bank by the taxes that every other business in Pennsylvania exceed their expectations? Customer experience is readers of the Scranton Times two years in a row. pays, which has helped generate more than $2.1 noted by three simple questions: How easy are we We are the No. 1 mortgage lender in the marketplace billion through 2013. Pennsylvania is the only to do business with? How enjoyable are we to do for the previous five years. We are a five-star rated state that imposes a special impact tax that will business with? How effective are we at meeting our Bank with independent rating agency Bauer Financial have generated nearly $830 million by April of this customer’s needs. and ranked 119th best run bank of more than 900 year, directly benefitting all 67 counties throughout The way you create products, the way you community banks as noted by American Banker. And the commonwealth. Pennsylvanians have realized Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Senate streamline processes, the ease of doing business Fidelity Bank has had the best three years our bank more than $700 million in royalties from energyEnvironmental Resources and Energy Committee: with your staff, should all done from the customer’s has ever had…with 2014 being the best of them all. development on public lands. By any measure, Skeptical of tax proposal perspective. In order to accomplish this you At Fidelity Bank, our focus on the community these are significant revenues that are boosting “It’s absurd to think development will increase must be truly aware that the customer experience is an important way that we build brand awareness local communities, as well as important environto the point of generating $1 billion by 2017 when happens everywhere, not just where you interact and relationships. Serving on boards, volunteering companies are already slowing down development mental programs. More importantly, revenue with a customer, but when participating in comin your neighborhood, creating partnerships with estimates fail to account for the more than 200,000 without a severance tax,” Sen. Yaw said. “This munity program, on social media, and with online organizations are all important to our Fidelity brand hard-working Pennsylvanians who are employed same proposal was rejected under the Rendell and electronic processes. Enhancing customer and our success. Building playhouses, lemonade Administration during much better economic times. by or support this industry and generate substantial experiences are built not only around the in-person stands, donating to charities and random acts of revenue for the Commonwealth by paying their taxDoes anyone in the Administration realize there is experiences, but around every customer interackindness are all ways that we show who we are to an oversupply of natural gas in the world market?” es. “While we look forward to evaluating the policy tion, no matter the time or place. the larger community. It is not only important to details outlined by the Gov. today, it’s clear that new Businesses can no longer rely on traditional the communities we serve, but it is the essence of Mike Butler, Consumer Energy Alliance’s execuenergy taxes will discourage capital investment into services and approaches. The need for strong who we are — a vibrant community bank. tive director for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter: Don’t put the commonwealth and make Pennsylvania less customer experiences built through relationship Banks and retailers are not only competing with the brakes on fastest growing industry. competitive. will make customers think of us not only as a bank, business or banks in our marketplace. The com“For the first time in decades, the whims of the a book store, a supermarket or a service provider ANGA , America’s Natural Gas Alliance: Tax petition is global. Expectations are being set outside OPEC oil cartel are of little consequence to Ameribut also as trusted customer-centric expert: a would hamper future gas production of Northeastern Pennsylvania and by companies cans. We need to make sure it stays that way by knowledgeable advisor who understands the wants Now is not the time to put . . . progress at risk not even in our industries. To be competitive you supporting sensible and economic energy policies. underneath the needs of the customer. by singling out natural gas producers and imposmust be prepared to deliver service at any time, at “Unfortunately, despite this positive news, Gov. Change is happening rapidly due to technology ing a burdensome tax that could hamper future any place, while exceeding the customer’s expectaWolf is advocating for a 5-percent tax severance on and digital devices. The digital world is creating the production. In fact, there is a great opportunity to tions. You need to put your feet on the street and natural gas production that could impact Marcellus death of traditional bricks and mortar retailers such boost economic development in the state by supprepare to interact with customers, when and Shale production in the state. That’s because the as Blockbuster Video, Borders, and Circuit City. porting critical infrastructure projects that will carry where it is convenient for them. cost of energy production in the state could inThose retailers that have redirected and crease substantially if such a tax were applied. That the Marcellus gas to nearby markets. Please see OPPORTUNITY on page 51



MARCH 2015

By Daniel J. Santaniello

Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal March 2015  
Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal March 2015  

March 2015