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Saturday, May 30, 2009

PennFuture Forum Discusses Tax On Natural Gas

Is gas severance tax the answer?

By DAVID THOMPSON - dthompson@sungazette.com
Sun Gazette

Can a severance tax on natural gas production be the answer to state and municipal financial problems?

That was one of the questions debated Thursday during a public forum focusing on natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale.

The forum, hosted by Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future - also known as PennFuture - at City Hall, attracted about 40 people, many of whom had concerns about how gas development impacts the environment and how to best raise revenue for conservation programs and other services through gas development.

PennFuture favors a severance tax on gas extracted from the shale, according to Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of the environmental advocacy organization.

"It is a huge opportunity for areas like this that are in need of economic development," Jarrett said. "We've got to make sure the drilling is done in a responsible manner and that, as taxpayers, there is value from it." More...

15 comments :

Anonymous said...

Everyone wants to get their hands in someones pocket.Tax an industry in despair,give it to the tree huggers and let them beat the survivors over the head with their own money!!!
Stupid is as stupid does!

Anonymous said...

All this trying to figure out how to tax the gas company's before they even get started.Sounds to me like spendell is counting his chickens before they hatch.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Taxing this industry more in Pa. would be very stupid. This can bring a much needed economic bump to our area and the state as a whole. Taxing it more is crazy.

Solomon's words for the wise said...

There is absolutely no reason to tax these oil and gas companies---There is no tax on natural gas in PA now--We homeowners can dig a little deeper and pay the gas companies share--We can do it...We can do it...They will reduce our natural gas bills for our houses...NOT!

the Phantom said...

And the infrastructure, roads, bridges which will take a beating. The fracked water which must be sent to special disposal areas. Yes, let us taxpayers pay for it. Ya know the poor gas companies are are just as hurt'in as Exxon.

Anonymous said...

Don't get confused about who we are trying to tax here.The idea seems to be to tax the producers of natural gas.They are not the ones getting the high profits from the sale to the consumer.The high profits are on the upside of the natural gas sales.(Those who supply it to business and homeowners)
The producers are the same as local farmers and the like.All the risk,all the work,high overhead,over regulation,fees,you name it.
This is like adding a tax to the local dairy farmer based on how much milk each cow produces.
Just like the local farmers,this tax will eliminate the small local producers,with a local workforce that generate a tax base and spend what they make locally.(The "Big Boy's"everyone is so intent on having here don't employ a local workforce,they already have one!)
Government mismanagement of the budget cannot be cured by breaking the back of local industry!

Anonymous said...

We as a land owner that own our mineral rights and feel we ALL READY pay tax on the gas and oil minerals under our land.

We pay land tax and the minerals under the ground are OURS! When we bought the land we all ready paid a 2% transfer tax years ago to boot!

How many more taxes should be have shoved up our noses?

Anonymous said...

Many people do not understand this issue.
Pennsylvania because of a court decision and because of industry lobbying basically exempts gas production from taxes.
This should change and change now.
We talk about what can we do to reduce the burden of the property tax on homeowners and everyone else.
Here is a golden opportunity to do that.
Don't confuse the issues. This is very fair.

Anonymous said...

"The high profits are on the upside of the natural gas sales.(Those who supply it to business and homeowners"...

You are so right! These are the ones that should be taxed, BUT once again the customer will in the end eat the tax via a "new" charge passed on to us. So ya see this is a no "win win" once again!

Anonymous said...

My understanding is they bond the roads and are very good about leaving the roads better than they found them.

Anonymous said...

"Many people do not understand this issue"

You are so right,and you are at the front of that line.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I see where you and others are coming from on this issue.
Below is a link to a very good radio program on the issue that I just listened to:

http://www.theboxprogram.com/?p=142

(it's a 48 minute program, but I think it's worth listening to)

At the end of the day even without the severance tax, more natural gas drilling will generate a lot of tax revenues with taxes already in place. My guess with a natural gas severance tax the $s would just go into in the state's general fund and not necessarily benefit this area.

A better tactic maybe to urge Sen. Scarnati and Rep. Causer that as more state land gets leased for natural gas drilling that the school districts, local municipalities, and the counties where the drilling takes place get a percentage of the royalties received by the state. It would be another local revenue stream like the payment in lieu of taxes that the state pays on state lands.

I agree with the poster above that the gas companies have a good track record when it comes to fixing up roads damaged by their rigs.

Potter County and Pennsylvania can benefit a lot from gas drilling. The state ought to encourage it and not discourage it.

For what it's worth here is a link to a really good op-ed piece on wind turbines, green jobs, & government energy policy in general.

http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/commentary/clean-energy-jobs-myth

Anonymous said...

Sunday, 7:53 am poster...why do you think the revenues from a severance tax would help alleviate property taxes? You must understand the issue a lot better than I do.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth a severance tax would be passed on to consumers. If Pa. plays it's cards right our state should be a net exporter of natural gas. Therefore, Pa. residents wouldn't incur all of that expense. Nevertheless, I'm not sure giving all those revenues to Harrisburg is really going to benefit the areas where the drilling will take place. I agree the 7:32 PM poster, we should encourage natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. It could benefit our region a lot.

Anonymous said...

No severance tax at this stage in the game please!