In search of a severance tax

The Daily News knocks the legislature for still not enacting a severance tax after "promising" to do so:

Nine million dollars: That's how much Range Resources made as profit in a single quarter this year from its gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Range Resources was one of the companies in the room during a cozy session with Gov. Rendell and members of the Legislature as they tried to agree on an extraction tax palatable to the gas industry. (Funny, we don't remember being invited to such a session last time Harrisburg discussed raising the sales tax.)

Rendell announced yesterday that after an agreement seemed to be in sight, the industry changed its mind, and the agreement fell apart. That means that the chances a tax will be passed before lawmakers go home to campaign for re-election are slim, despite their promise they would nail down the tax by Oct. 1.

That means that the state also kisses goodbye revenue that this year alone could have ranged from $20 million to $108 million.

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