Corbett considers natural gas tax

A drill worker covered in mud

A drill worker covered in mud

Governor Tom Corbett for the first time, says he’s thinking about taxing natural gas.

It’s easy to get lost in fees and taxes. But here’s what you need to know. Back in 2012 Governor Corbett enacted a per-well flat-fee. That’s the impact fee. Critics, including his Democratic opponent Tom Wolf say that method leaves a lot of money on the table.

Wolf has proposed a percentage tax on the gas that leaves the wellhead, which is what all the other major energy-producing states do. Corbett continues to oppose this kind of tax for now, but he may be looking at other possibilities down the road.

Pipeline companies may be a possible target because they already benefit from tax breaks. Natural gas transmission companies are exempt from both federal corporate income tax and Pennsylvania’s gross receipts tax. The impact fee Corbett backed three years ago has brought in more than $600 million dollars.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.