HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf is urging leaders of the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives to speed a vote on legislation to tax Marcellus Shale natural gas production in the nation’s No. 2 gas state.
The Democrat gave his backing to a bill that emerged Wednesday from the House Finance Committee.
Proponents say it’ll help stitch up Pennsylvania’s deficit-riddled finances amid a four-month budget standoff. Six Republicans on the committee defied party leaders to vote for the bill with all 10 Democrats.
It imposes a volume tax that rises with the price of natural gas.
The exploration industry opposes it, and warns that a provision changing landowner royalty contract terms is unconstitutional. The Republican-controlled Senate passed a similar tax in July, but Majority Leader Jake Corman says Republicans won’t support a tax without business-friendly changes to how the state regulates polluting industries.
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