Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Failure of steep severance tax in Pennsylvania leaves it only major gas state with no such levy

Pennsylvania remains the only state among the nation’s 15 top natural-gas producers not to impose a severance tax on the industry after Gov. Ed Rendell declared the bill dead Thursday," reports Eric Boehm of the Pennsylvania Independent.

Rendell pointed to drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation as he proposed the tax, which would have been the nation's highest on gas. Republican leaders of the state Senate called for a much lower rate. "Rendell and House Democrats said the lower proposal was a gift to the industry" and bad for property owners, Boehm reports. "Attempts by the governor to bring the two sides together over the last few weeks failed."

Rendell leaves office at the end of the year. The Republican nominee, Tom Corbett, "has repeatedly stated his opposition to a severance tax," Boehm notes. "His Democratic opponent, Dan Onorato, said he did not agree with the severance tax passed by the state House, but he would support a reasonable tax on the industry." (Read more

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