Group admits errors in energy tax report
A Harrisburg group said on Thursday there are flaws in its report on corporate income taxes paid by energy companies drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania's mile-deep Marcellus shale formation.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's report, "Representation without Taxation: How Natural Gas Producers Escape Taxes in Pennsylvania," overestimated how frequently firms use their status as limited-liability companies to pay the state's 3.07 percent personal income tax, instead of the much higher 9.99 percent net corporation income tax, a center spokesman said.
"As soon as we realized there was a problem, we corrected it, and we posted it to our website," said spokesman Chris Lilienthal.
The correction notes that individuals and corporations receive profits through an energy company limited liability corporation or limited partnership, meaning a mix of personal and corporate taxes are paid. The original version said energy companies could avoid paying corporate income tax "altogether" as an LLC or LP.
Errors in the report, which relies on 2008 tax data collected by the state Department of Revenue, go deeper than that, said Elizabeth Brassell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue.
The center's researchers relied on flawed mathematical calculations, Brassell said.
She said because of high interest, the department plans to release a report soon about tax revenues generated by Marcellus shale drilling operations. That report, however, likely won't pinpoint how much energy companies pay in corporate and personal income taxes.
Travis Windle, a spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, said PBPC used "blatantly wrong and faulty information" to drive its political agenda, a charge PBPC denies.
The board of directors that runs the center is made up of labor union and public university officials. It is advocating for state lawmakers to impose a severance tax on natural gas drillers, which has been controversial.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Officials dissent on whether offices can prohibit, charge to photograph public record documents
- ‘Free’ wine kiosk initiative costs state Liquor Control Board $300K
- State court blocks release of emails between Freeh investigators, AG’s office
- Nonprofit tax break proposal may get Pa. Senate committee vote this week
- Senate Finance Committee advances amendment that could affect nonprofit taxes