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Center: State lost $300M without Marcellus gas tax

Since 2009, Pennsylvania has lost more than $300 million in revenue by not passing a tax on gas production from Marcellus Shale wells, according to The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

The Harrisburg-based tax and budget policy research nonprofit said its drilling tax ticker breached the benchmark on Monday, representing lost revenue Pennsylvania could be using to reduce cuts to state funding in education, health care and social services.

The money also could be used to fund environmental protection and conservation, and to mitigate impacts of drilling on local communities, the center said.

The ticker uses monthly well-drilling reports to calculate the average total production and estimates taxes lost based on the 5 percent tax proposed by former Gov. Ed Rendell in 2009, as well as the 4.7-cent fixed surcharge per 1,000 cubic-feet of gas produced.

While the state legislature works on bills for a Marcellus Shale impact fee, which could garner millions less than a tax, some gas companies have said they’re scaling back production due to the dropping price of natural gas.

Jim T. Ryan

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