Corbett says Pa. impact fee could drive gas industry out of state

    Gov. Tom Corbett says if an impact fee does get past Pennsylvania’s Legislature, he doesn’t want to see the revenue end up in the state’s general budget.

    Still, the governor is not sold on the necessity of a strictly local impact fee.

    He said it could put an undue tax burden on an industry that is bringing jobs to Pennsylvania–but could just as easily take the jobs to neighboring states.”We are in competition with other states.  Right now the reason we’re not competing with New York is because they created a moratorium.  They’re getting ready to take that off,” he said. “We’re in competition with West Virginia. One of the reasons we have a lot of the equipment to do the drilling and the capital that pays for that in Pennsylvania is because they raised the tax. Corbett says Ohio is another state that could take drilling jobs from Pennsylvania– because that state is sitting on top of natural gas trapped in the Utica Shale.

    In the weeks since his Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission recommended levying an impact fee on natural gas drillers, Corbett said he would support it depending on where the revenue would go.

    He said he wants any impact fee to benefit an environment-specific fund that will help cap abandoned shallow gas wells throughout the state.

    The fee has to address as many statewide needs as possible without hurting those regions that are benefiting from Marcellus Shale drilling, Corbett said on Radio Pennsylvania’s “Ask the Governor” program.

    “If you go back and read the report, one of the things you see is that there are some communities that do not want an impact fee, because they’re doing pretty well without the impact fee,” he said. “Companies are taking care of those communities.  Lots of roads have been built by the companies already.”

    Corbett said he doesn’t want to put an undue tax burden on drillers, because that could mean losing drilling jobs to neighboring states.

     

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