As Pa. gas production soars, experts debate taxes

Natural gas

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A boom in natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania is generating billions of dollars for companies and private landowners, but some experts question whether the state’s low effective tax on the bounty makes long-term sense.

Unlike most leading oil and gas producing states, Pennsylvania doesn’t link fees to how much gas comes from wells. That means that even as Marcellus Shale gas production has soared, revenue to local and state government isn’t keeping pace.

Michael Wood with the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Budget & Policy Center says that gap will get “bigger and bigger” over time.

Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber says the impact fee has encouraged companies to invest in Pennsylvania, and other states provide big tax breaks for oil and gas development.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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