Although their state capitals are separated by hundreds of miles, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are home to Marcellus Shale gas fields that in some cases are separated by only a few miles.
From that vantage point, advocates from the three states said it would make sense for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to take a common approach to taxing shale gas and oil drilling.
By several measures, Pennsylvania’s economic recovery is still limping along. That is the essential finding of a new policy brief from the Keystone Research Center examining Pennsylvania job growth since the recession ended.
Job growth in the state has slowed steadily over each of the past three years with only about a quarter of the number of jobs created in 2013 as in 2010, the first full year of the economic recovery.
With state budget hearings in the rearview mirror, I wanted to offer a few thoughts about the Governor Tom Corbett's 2014-15 budget proposal.
First of all, this, the Governor's fourth budget, is very different from his first. Tough talk about reining in spending has been replaced with a host of new initiatives that resonate with the public, particularly women.
Pennsylvania General Fund collections for nearly every major tax type fell short of estimate in February. Shortfalls in the collection of sales, personal income, and realty transfer taxes may be partly attributable to the excessive amount of inclement weather in February, but the bulk of the month's deficit is due to expectations of strong growth for 2014 falling short. This is the third consecutive month in which revenues have fallen short of targets.
Are you a governor of a Mid-Atlantic state in a tough re-election fight this year? After supporting policies that reduced corporate taxes, cut education funding, and reduced the number of people eligible for unemployment insurance, do you find your supporters are about as loyal as Theon Greyjoy?
Perhaps a change of strategy is in order.
For quite some time now, we have been putting out jobs data explaining that drilling in the Marcellus Shale has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim. Well, now you don't have to listen to us; a team of economists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is out with a study confirming what we have been saying all along.
For a long time, we've been making two points about natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. One, Pennsylvania's drilling impact fee brings in a fraction of what a severance tax comparable to those in other large energy-producing states would generate.