Severance tax on natural gas drilling pushed in Pa.
A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers and advocates -- including state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks -- is calling on their colleagues to consider a tax on the production of natural gas.
Under Gov. Tom Corbett, the Legislature passed an impact fee, which puts 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.
Such a tax would bring in more money than the impact fee, at a time when funds are sorely needed, said state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny.
"We will soon be hearing from the governor with his budget concerns and I think this is a very, very good suggestion for legislation to be incorporated into the budget as we start the process in the year 2014," Readshaw said.
Corbett opposes a severance tax, and a top adviser said Thuesday that the governor is not about to change his mind.
Several Democratic gubernatorial candidates have made their support of a severance tax the centerpiece of their policy platforms.
DiGirolamo, who has often diverged on from G-O-P leadership in his chamber, said it's a reasonable option that ought to be debated.