State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Episode 25: What even is a severance tax?

Written by Katie Meyer | Sep 29, 2017 4:31 PM

Pennsylvania has been drilling natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation for about a decade now, and in all that time, a question has come up over and over without ever being resolved: is the commonwealth getting enough money out of it?

Democrats, like Governor Tom Wolf, usually say no. They want a new tax on the gas that comes out of the ground--a so-called severance tax. But Republicans tend to say the current tax structure--which includes corporate taxes, plus an impact fee for every new hole drilled--is plenty, and taxing more might drive out business.

The issue is now coming to a head, once again, as lawmakers try to find enough money to balance a $2.2 billion hole in their overdue budget. WITF's own StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick joins us to help pick apart the convoluted politics of drilling. 

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