McGarrigle's agenda includes CRIZ Act tweak, severance tax

State Sen. Thomas McGarrigle represents District 26, which includes parts of Chester and Delaware Counties.
State Sen. Thomas McGarrigle represents District 26, which includes parts of Chester and Delaware Counties. | Courtesy of the State of Pennsylvania

The expansion of the City Renewal and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) Act of 2013, a severance tax on drilling for natural gas and education funding are top priorities for state Sen. Thomas McGarrigle (R-Dist. 26) in the 2015-2016 legislative session, McGarrigle told Pennsylvania Business Daily on Tuesday.

The newly elected senator, who represents a district that includes parts of Chester and Delaware Counties, sees the expansion of the CRIZ Act as an opportunity for several areas in his district to benefit, particularly in Upper Darby Township.

“In Upper Darby Township, there are multiple opportunities for development, the most important of these being the 69th Street Terminal, which was the original transportation hub in the area,” McGarrigle said. “There are opportunities for someone to come in, develop it and make a profit.”

The other hot topic in Pennsylvania is Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed severance tax of 5 percent on natural gas drilling in the state, and McGarrigle told Pennsylvania Business Daily that he is in favor of a severance tax. He is circulating a co-sponsor memo regarding a 4 percent severance tax, with the revenue dedicated to education.
“Governor Wolf has said that his severance tax could bring in a billion dollars. It probably was a billion when the prices were high, but with the prices of natural gas, I don’t think it will ever get to a billion,” McGarrigle said.

In further support of education in the state, McGarrigle said a priority this year is coming up with funding for education; one way to do this may include looking at a new formula to provide school districts with state funding.