State budget pressures revive talk of shale gas tax

Written by The Associated Press | May 15, 2014 12:48 PM

Photo by Scott Goldsmith / The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Corbett's longstanding opposition to an extraction tax on natural gas in Pennsylvania is running up against the reality of weak state revenue collections and election-year spending pressures.

The governor's communications director says his opposition to the tax hasn't softened, but the question also prompted her to bring up the state's fiscal problems heading into the June budget season.

She's declining to say if Corbett still rules out an extraction tax that could raise hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the cash-strapped state government.

Corbett signed a bill two years ago that imposed an impact fee on natural gas drilling, with much of it going to local governments, but has repeatedly denounced an extraction tax on grounds that it could hamper the growing industry.

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