HARRISBURG – A new effort is being made to offer a tax break to Procter and Gamble’s Mehoopany plant, as a severance tax on natural gas production looms over the state budget debate. Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Avoca, introduced legislation that would exempt most of the gas produced by Marcellus Shale wells located on the P&G plant’s property in Wyoming County from any severance tax enacted in the future. It would provide the exemption to gas drilled on property owned by any manufacturer as long as its used for manufacturing purposes.
Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a five percent severance tax as part of his fiscal 2015-16 budget. The tax proposal has been a hot topic in the legislative budget hearings that wrapped up Tuesday.
Mr. Carroll offered a similar exemption proposal in 2010, and it was included in a severance tax bill approved that year by the then-Democratic controlled House. Senators are considering wording for a similar manufacturer’s exemption proposal, said Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20, Lehman Twp. “Businesses that save costs by using Pennsylvania’s own natural resources rather than importing should not be overly inconvenienced by a severance tax,” wrote Mr. Carroll in a recent memo. “This will allow the manufacturers to keep their costs low and products reasonably priced.” P&G officials raised the idea of an exemption at recent meetings with area lawmakers, said plant spokesman Alex Fried on Tuesday. Natural gas production began at the Mehoopany plant in 2010. Most of the gas from the wells is used for production purposes, said Mr. Fried.
Mr. Carroll said his proposal won bipartisan support when it was first introduced in 2010. Mr. Carroll, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said if the exemption is not included in whatever new severance tax bill emerges, he will push to have it added through that committee.
This article was written by Robert Swift, from The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.