House Sends James’ Emergency Response Bill to Governor
HARRISBURG – A bill introduced by Rep. Lee James (R-Venango) that would remove a tax provision that harasses out-of-state utility workers who come to Pennsylvania to restore service following an emergency is one step away from becoming law after the state House today in Harrisburg approved the measure.

“When utility workers from other states travel to Pennsylvania to restore service during an emergency, we don’t want to punish them with tax forms and headaches,” James said.

A provision in current state law requires out-of-state utility workers to pay all applicable taxes in any Pennsylvania municipalities where they work following an emergency.

Out-of-state utility workers or the companies they work for currently have to pay several taxes and fees when helping Pennsylvania residents following an emergency, including the state income tax, local income taxes, local services taxes, local fees, state business licensing and registration fees, unemployment insurance costs and property taxes.

That can leave out-of-state utility workers who perform jobs in multiple municipalities struggling to determine the various taxes and fees they owe to different governing bodies.

“We don’t want out-of-state utility workers to have to bring a tax accountant with them in order to help Pennsylvania customers who have lost service,” James said. “We want those workers to be focused on restoring services instead of worrying about figuring out complicated tax laws.”

James’ House Bill 2377 would allow out-of-state utility workers to perform work in Pennsylvania following an emergency without paying applicable state and local income taxes and fees. Workers would still have to pay the state sales tax on applicable purchases.

“My bill would send the message that Pennsylvania is grateful for the men and women from other states who leave their families behind to come here and restore utility services during an emergency,” James said.

James’ bill was approved by the state House on Sept. 17. The state Senate added an amendment to the legislation and returned it to the House, which approved the updated version of the bill today. James’ bill now heads to the governor to be signed into law.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
717.772.9845 /
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