Energy. Environment. Economy.

Report: Corbett Wants To Give Shell A $1.7 Billion Tax Break

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

An antique Shell gasoline pump at an Ohio oil and gas museum

When Republican Governor Tom Corbett announced Pennsylvania had won a three-state bidding war to host a new Shell ethane cracker, a reporter asked about the possibility of future tax breaks for the company. “We would be open to considering just about anything,” Corbett responded. “Because the number one thing I’m looking at  is getting jobs for the people of western PA.”

According to a new report from Capitolwire, “anything” now includes an additional $1.7 billion tax break for the company. That’s on top of the exemptions and development money that two laws passed earlier this year are already steering toward Shell:

UPDATE: For more on legislative reaction to Corbett’s proposal, click here.

[Corbett's] team is preparing to negotiate in the tax bill that will be a bridesmaid to this year’s budget to give Shell a $67 million annual tax credit, starting in 2017, for 25 years. And, typically, the governor is being secretive about it. He is trying to give away that much taxpayer money without telling anyone until the little-read and arcane tax code bill is enacted later this month.

In other words, over a quarter-century, Pennsylvania taxpayers will be giving Shell close to $1.7 billion in tax credits to bring its ballyhooed ethane cracker plant and its jobs to Pennsylvania. Counting cracker-centric businesses, that could be 10,000 to 20,000 jobs, according to Pennsylvania Community and Economic Development Secretary Alan Walker. That is taxpayers paying $6,700 per worker at the plant, or half that sum if the jobs created hit 20,000.

And here’s the best part: the ethane cracker plant, the economic development jewel Corbett and his team won in a furious competition with other states, is in a tax-free Keystone Opportunity Zone.


  • Lois

    Of course I am in favor of getting this factory here in Pa, but this is the same old politics as usual from Corbett, wanting to give SHell a huge tax break on the backs of our citizens to bribe Shell to settle here, instead of reforming the way we do business for ALL businesses in Pa; it is bad corporatist politics to hand out special favors to certain companies.  So the rest of us have to suck-up the tax burdon our government has forced upon us.  Big “thumbs down.”

    • Kenule Saro Wiwa

       Be careful, people who question Shell’s sock-puppets (Nigeria or Pennsylvania) have a way of…

  • KeepTapWaterSafe

    This just seems nuts. Corbett is simultaneously de-funding public schools, environmental programs and green initiatives, he’s literally and figuratively giving away the farm. Hasn’t this blindly pro-gas, dangerous-jobs-at-any-cost agenda has gone too far? this thing has “Gilded Age” written all over it!

  • Julieann Wozniak

    Why am I not surprised. All we need to complete this picture is for Corbett to proclaim “I am nit a crook!” on the boarding ladder of his taxpayer-provided helicopter.

  • Hthompkins1940

    Ridiculous, the state is going broke, services for children, schools and seniors are getting cut, and he’s giving it all away.

  • David Meiser

    So we cut PA-DEP’s budget and then give a 1.7 Billion tax break to a corporation which made 18.6 Billion profit in 2011. 

    • sidycat411

      This is absolutely ridiculous what this man is doing.  Shell made how much? 18.6 Billion and this piece of scum wants to give them more while the citizens in his state are suffering so bad, this clown doesn’t give a dam, well all you who voted for this jerk I hope you’re happy, because in my eyes you are all morons.

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