Governor Tom Corbett is clearly getting agitated over being asked the recurring question of why he staunchly opposes taxing an industry that’s milking Pennsylvania’s Marcellus for every gasp of natural gas.
Now much has been written and said about a quid pro quo. As a gubernatorial candidate, Corbett collected almost $1 million dollars from folks tied to the natural gas industry, and as the adage goes, follow the trail of money and it usually leads one to a wealth of clarity.
For months, Corbett has denied any connection, and anyone so bold to think all the dots connect, should, in his mind, return to the coloring book and find a new perspective.
Corbett, in Hershey on Monday, told a crowd of local government leaders that his no tax decision was written in stone before the first campaign contribution rolled in, and his mind would not have wavered whether the donations tallied up to $1 million or one dime.
Corbett as quoted by the Associated Press said, “Everywhere I go in the Marcellus region, we’re starting to see development.” He added, “It’s the only industry that’s really growing in Pennsylvania.”
If logic fails you on that point, you are not alone, which is why the question keeps coming up, why is Pennsylvania the only gas producing state without a severance tax?
Especially in light of an estimated $4 billion dollar budget deficit, and a governor that has repeatedly told the majority of people earning a living directly or indirectly from tax dollars that they need to share in the burden of balancing the budget. Think wage freezes, rollbacks and cuts.
So where does logic and the governor’s decision connect?
He told the crowd, not in so many words, to square their spurs and saddle up for a roughly 1380 mile ride to Texas. Yes, the Lone Star state holds the center of gravity for one of Corbett’s temporal lobes.
Why Texas? Well, that is where he attended law school and where his formative mind arrived at his signature, steadfast, decision not to tax the gas industry.
“Texas doesn’t have a personal income tax. Texas doesn’t have a property tax. So when we’re talking about taxes, don’t you think we ought to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.”
As legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say, ” And now you know…the rest of the story.”
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