Many Uncertainties Surround Natural Gas Tax/Fee

From Potter County Today

corbettgerhartsThere’s no consensus in Harrisburg on how – or whether – to impose a tax or fee on production of natural gas in Pennsylvania. A clue will come on March 8 when the state’s new governor, Tom Corbett (far left), delivers his address on the state’s 2010-11 budget. Representative Martin Causer and Senator Joe Scarnati both opposed the severance tax plan that was passed, but never implemented, in 2010. Causer and Scarnati’s district aide, Chuck Dillon, discussed the issue at last week’s Potter County Conservation District legislative luncheon.

Dillon pointed out that the tax plan advanced last year would have steered much of the revenue to the state’s general fund. His boss, Sen. Scarnati, is proposing that the severance tax be scrapped and that, in its place, an “impact fee” be imposed on natural gas production, with all of the revenue being targeted for local governments where drilling is taking place.

Causer said he also favors the revenue going to local governments if the fee passes. Portions could also be carved out to support environmental initiatives, including some of the Conservation District’s work. Both men acknowledged that political compromises will have to be made in order for an impact fee and distribution plan to emerge from the legislature and be signed by the governor.

They also said that the likelihood of an impact fee being approved will be greatly diminished if Corbett fails to mention it in his budget address or otherwise express support for it.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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One Comment

  1. sfitzg says:

    Oh please… Tom Corbett is bought and paid for by the gas industry. He’s not going to mention any kind of tax. Although, those of us who are not getting a job or leasing to big gas will be very negatively impacted and it’s going to come out of OUR pockets.

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