| Central Penn Business Journal
Is the Marcellus Shale tax debate reheated?
Last week, Rep. Mike Sturla had something interesting to say about Gov. Tom Corbett's refusal to tax Marcellus Shale extraction.
The outspoken Lancaster Democrat, in his visit to CPBJ, said not only has he yet to hear a good reason why there shouldn't be a severance tax, but that the gas company executives he's chatted with can't believe there's not one either.
Here's a bit of what Sturla said: "The governor in his budget address said we really ought to be more like Texas. Texas has a severance tax. Texas also has, when you get your property-tax bill, there are two sections. One is for the surface of the land, what you put on the surface of the land. The other is for the minerals underneath the land."
It's often repeated that Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation with a significant drilling operation that doesn't impose a severance tax. But Corbett counters that by claiming shale drillers paid $71 million in state taxes in the last two years. Subsequent reports have contended that figure, however.
Of course the criticism is that Marcellus Shale companies have filled Corbett's campaign coffers with nearly $1 million, which creates a perception he his merely playing to their generosity.
Regardless, the debate again is beginning to heat up over a severance tax for Marcellus Shale drillers.
Should a severance tax on shale drillers be implemented? Should what's under the ground be taxed?
Where do you see this debate going?
Christopher Passante is the editor of the Central Penn Business Journal.