Meuser said Marcellus Shale related companies have paid more than $100 million in state taxes and since West Virginia passed a severance tax only 20 Marcellus Shale wells have been drilled there while Pennsylvania has had 600 wells drilled.
He also said his agency has not done an estimate on what a severance tax would bring in or of potential job losses if a severance tax is adopted. Meuser said a severance tax is a relatively new tax, 60 or 70 years. He explained his responsibility is not to defend any industry, but collect taxes due.
Meuser noted, as with most companies (70 percent), Marcellus Shale drilling companies do not pay corporate income tax, because they are typically S corporations or limited partnership, but do pay other taxes as they are required to do under current state law. He said gas production royalty payments have not yet really begun, but will result in additional Personal Income Tax revenues.
Meuser encouraged legislators to ask county commissioners where there is drililng whether they think drilling companies are paying their fair share of taxes.
Rep. Vitali noted under Pennsylvania law, natural gas property interests are not taxable under county or local property tax.
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