Republicans Join Call for Marcellus Tax

Gas fields called an "untapped resource" — for state coffers.

ABC27 in Harrisburg reports that Republicans are increasingly joining Democrats in calling for a tax on drilling in the Marcellus shale.

But Wednesday, a handful of House and Senate Republicans, mostly from the Philadelphia area, joined the chorus.

“There’s a theory out there that we shouldn’t be taxing this industry,” said DiGirolamo – (R) Bucks. “They pay this tax in every other state that they operate. This is a price of them doing business.”

Representative Tom Murt – (R) Montgomery, Philadelphia – says the state is facing a huge budget deficit and will need to find revenue. He thinks Marcellus drillers are the answer.

“The industry is doing very, very well.” Murt said. “I think there might be a collective belief on the part of many of my colleagues that perhaps the industry is not paying its fair share.”

The tax issue should loom large in fall’s general election campaign for governor.