State Lawmakers Propose Marcellus Shale Severance Tax

Dec 17, 2013

A group of state lawmakers and advocates are calling on their colleagues to consider placing a tax on the production of natural gas.

Under Gov. Tom Corbett, the Legislature passed an impact fee, which put a levy on each well drilled.

Supporters of the severance tax idea point out Pennsylvania is the only state within shale formations that doesn’t tax gas yields.

Democratic Representative Harry Readshaw of Allegheny County notes such a tax would bring in more money than the impact fee, at a time when dollars are sorely needed.

"We will soon be hearing from the governor with his budget concerns and I think this is a very, very good suggestion legislation to be incorporated into the budget as we start the process in the year 2014," Readshaw said.

The governor said long said he opposes a severance tax, and a top adviser says he’s not about to change his mind.

Several Democratic gubernatorial candidates have made their support of a severance tax the centerpiece of their policy platforms.

The proposal is sponsored by Republican Representative Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County, who has often diverged on from GOP leadership in his chamber.