New Castle News

Local News

June 14, 2012

Ethane tax credit proposed

NEW CASTLE — State Sen. Elder Vogel has introduced legislation that would provide tax credits to attract investment in the ethane supply market.

The legislation is intended to encourage Shell Oil Co. and other ethylene producers and downstream manufacturers to locate their operations in Pennsylvania, while protecting taxpayers at the same time.

Vogel said the tax credit “will be performance based and up for annual review by the Legislature. This will balance the need to attract investment with a strong protection for taxpayers,”

Shell announced in March it is considering a site in Monaca, Beaver County, for a facility that would convert ethane from natural gas produced in the Marcellus Shale region into more profitable chemicals such as ethylene, which is used in making products that include plastics, tires and footwear.

Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed a tax credit worth nearly $1.7 billion over 25 years for Shell. Corbett said the proposal is to ensure Shell locates the plant in Pennsylvania instead of Ohio or West Virginia.

Rather than offering a set amount of available tax credits for a long period of time, Vogel’s bill would require that the amount of the tax credit be determined annually by the General Assembly, beginning in 2017.

“We owe it to the taxpayers to ask, is $66 million a year the right amount for this tax credit?” Vogel said. “Maybe so. But let’s make that determination.”

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