The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue released an analysis showing natural gas companies have paid more than 1.1 billion dollars in state taxes since 2006. According to the Department, 857 of the companies have already paid 238.4 million dollars in taxes, exceeding last year's collection. This report comes after a group of Democratic Senators claimed the Commonwealth is losing money to the "Delaware Loophole".
The "Delaware Loophole" is when subsidiaries of companies register in Delaware so they do not have to pay corporate income tax in Pennsylvania. According to Senator Tina Tartaglione of Philadelphia, 70% of the companies doing business in Pennsylvania do not pay the corporate net income tax, while businesses in Delaware have grown to 115,000.
Elizabeth Brassell, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, says the statistic of 70% of companies not paying taxes is misunderstood. "The majority of those aren't paying because they shouldn't. Companies that don't make money in a particular year or are inactive for a particular year, and we're finding that that's about 65% of the corporate net income taxpayers, they don't have profits to pay taxes on."
Brassell says the "Delaware Loophole" has become a political buzzword and some studies have shown that eliminating it would decrease the amount of revenue for the state. She says the state will continue to see revenue from gas companies because it is a growing industry.
Brassell says there will be monthly reports on the tax payments by drilling companies at the urging of Governor Corbett.