Why Don’t Pipeline Builders Have to Pay Property Taxes?

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In New Jersey, pipeline builders have to pay property taxes to the towns they build in, but not in Pennsylvania:

As Republican legislative leaders and the natural gas industry unite to beat back Gov. Tom Wolf’s severance tax proposal, here’s something lawmakers in Harrisburg are not talking about: Companies building new pipelines to grow markets for Pennsylvania’s natural gas don’t have to pay local property taxes on those lines to counties, towns and school districts.

So how much could local communities be missing out on? […]

StateImpact Pennsylvania found that if the state did collect property taxes on pipelines in the way New Jersey does, the 21 towns that sit over PennEast’s main routecould collect an estimated $4.3 million a year, based on the most recent information available.”

The issue is that PA doesn’t “consider pipelines to be permanent property like a factory building. Rather, the state treats pipelines like the equipment and machinery inside the factory — those are not taxed,” reports Katie Colaneri at StateImpact Pennsylvania.

The state tax code is riddled with all kinds of subsidies for fossil fuel like this, adding up to around $3.2 billion in lost revenue every year.

If lawmakers think we should spend $3.2 billion a year writing checks to fossil fuel companies out of the state Treasury, they’re free to make that case to the voters. This is the exact same thing, but it’s not debated every year because the spending is hidden in the tax code.

This entry was posted in Budget, Energy, Environment, Issues.

One Response to Why Don’t Pipeline Builders Have to Pay Property Taxes?

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