FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Deberah Kula
Kula working to help counties make ends meet
Her bill would require drilling companies to pay real estate tax on oil and natural gas
HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Deberah Kula is offering a bill that would permit counties to subject oil and natural gas to a real estate tax which would be paid by the drilling companies.
The oil and natural gas would be assessed separately from the surface property assessment so property owners on whose land wells are located would not be responsible for paying the tax.
"Local governments are struggling to make ends meet. Property owners are already taxed to the max. The solution to our counties' financial woes might be right under their feet," said Kula, D-Fayette/Westmoreland.
Kula's H.B. 1674 would also prohibit oil and gas producers from recovering any portion of the tax from the royalty owner through a deduction, reallocation or any other means.
The revenues would stay in the county where they were collected; none of the money would go to the state under this legislation.
Prior to Dec. 19, 2002, counties were permitted to assess value to natural gas, oil and coal-bed methane the same way that they do today for other mineral resources. However, on Dec. 19, 2002, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided in Independent Oil and Gas Association et al. v. Board of Assessment Appeals of Fayette County that the General Assembly had not explicitly recognized gas and oil as taxable interests. Kula said this legislation would correct that oversight and benefit local communities, school districts, property owners and taxpayers.