Pa. candidate wants 5 percent tax on gas drilling

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Democrat running for governor in Pennsylvania wants to add a five percent tax to the shale gas drilling boom.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz says in a Wednesday release that the rate would still be lower than the 7.5 percent tax Texas charges.

Schwartz says the tax could generate $13 billion in revenue over a decade from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, which also extends under Ohio, West Virginia and New York.

Pennsylvania doesn’t currently tax gas production, but Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and legislative leaders created an impact fee last year that charges drillers for each well, and companies also pay corporate taxes. Experts say the impact fee is the equivalent of about a 1.5 percent tax.

Corbett says that higher taxes could stifle the drilling boom, but Schwartz disputes that.

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