Onorato doubts Harrisburg can pass drilling tax before Nov

    Despite legislative promises that Pennsylvania will begin taxing natural gas drillers, Democrat Dan Onorato says he’s skeptical that will happen.
    Onorato has been using the severance tax as a campaign issue, promising to direct revenue to environmental causes and local communities, if elected.

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato in Williamsport, Lycoming
    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato in Williamsport, Lycoming

    Despite legislative promises that Pennsylvania will begin taxing natural gas drillers, Democrat Dan Onorato says he’s skeptical that will happen.

    Onorato has been using the severance tax as a campaign issue, promising to direct revenue to environmental causes and local communities, if elected.

    Reminded that legislative leaders have promised to pass a tax into law by October 1, making the levy a non-issue for the next governor, Onorato said he doubts the General Assembly will reach its goal.

    “I’m skeptical of seeing a vote on a severance tax thirty days before an election, yes. If they do it, I think it’s great. Even if they do do it, you can always revisit how you can spend the money as a new governor.”
    Spokesman for House Speaker Keith McCall and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi maintain both parties are serious about the self-imposed October 1 deadline.

    Governor Rendell is pushing for at least $70 million of severance tax revenue to go into the general fund, to help fill a deficit in this year’s budget.

    Onorato’s opponent, Republican Tom Corbett, has pledged not to raise any taxes as governor, and opposes a levy on natural gas drilling.

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