Governor Edward Rendell is putting on his best full-court press to try to reach an agreement on a natural gas severance tax. Rendell met with Senate Republicans twice this week as the sun on is setting on this session, as well as his tenure.
The governor said the plan he offered on Tuesday is fair. “It is a significant compromise. The industry should accept it. The Senate Republicans should accept it.”
Republicans have balked over several issues, chiefly the amount of money the House passed version of a gas tax included – nearly $109 million in the first year.
Rendell’s compromise puts that figure at more than $40 million in the first year – about $16 million less than he first proposed and roughly double what the senate has favored. The governor’s offering comes with some exemptions which is another of the sticking points.
Republican Senate President Joe Scarnati still says they remain worlds apart on an agreement. Scarnati said the governor’s last minute rush to pull something out of a hat, has confused him.
While, Republican Senate leaders ponder over how little time is left to get something on the books – they are still pushing on it through four caucuses.
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