Energy. Environment. Economy.

Pennsylvania gets no property tax from expanding pipelines

Workers prepare to lay a new Marcellus Shale gas pipeline in Susquehanna County, Pa.

Kim Paynter / WHYY/

Workers prepare to lay a new Marcellus Shale gas pipeline in Susquehanna County, Pa.

While Pennsylvania gains no tax revenue from expanding pipelines, that’s not the case across the river in New Jersey. The Allentown Morning-Call reports on how the proposed Penn East pipeline is expected to generate $54,000 for Delaware Township, New Jersey, and $329,000 each year to the local county and school district. But on the Pennsylvania side of the river, the towns, counties and school districts hosting new pipelines get zero tax dollars from the project. That’s because Pennsylvania charges no property tax on oil and gas operations, which includes an exemption for pipelines.

More from the Morning-Call:

Tax policy differs from state to state, but in states that tax pipelines as property, they can produce significant revenue.

Some 10,775 miles of pipeline in Iowa generate $50 million to $60 million a year in property tax revenue for local municipalities, counties and school districts, according to the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Iowa towns could get an additional $27 million and North Dakota and South Dakota may see $13 million in new property tax revenue from a planned 1,100-mile crude oil pipeline from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois, according to a study released last week by Dakota Access LLC, which plans to build the pipeline.

With the severance tax debate, opponents of taxing Marcellus Shale oil and gas operations point to Pennsylvania’s high corporate income tax. Pennsylvania corporations pay 9.9%, while New Jersey is close behind at 9%. Texas, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, charges a severance tax as well as property taxes on oil and gas operations. The Penn East pipeline is just one of several new pipelines proposed to transport Marcellus Shale gas to East Coast markets.


  • LG

    yup. makes sense. who was paid off…???

  • Julieann Wozniak

    If the pipeline companies paid property tax, we homeowners would not get screwed on a regular basis.

  • moussetaffy

    About time to stop giving oil & gas industries such huge cash favors.

  • AlSever

    Who cares about pipelines? We need to tax churches and colleges! Lycoming College and Jerry Sandusky University own half of Williamsport and neither pay any taxes!

  • notanagitator

    PA has the most incompetent government that money can buy. Thanks to those incompetents like Rendell, Corbett and Ridge, Pennsylvanians get shafted and the transnational gas and oil companies make huge profits and contribute nothing to PA. If there is such a thing as state of PA treason, these 3 guys should be put on a wall of shame.

    As foreign corporations they get to take land through eminent domain by paying landowners a one time token fee for the right of way. Make no mistake that the ROW destroys market value thus lowering property value and taxes. These companies are not utilities and should be providing landowners ongoing royalty fees for the use of their property, just as many must pay Hollywood for the use of their property.

  • Jack Wolf

    Again, taxpayers get screwed. Not only do we pay for the clean up for all the waste they leave behind, we give them tax breaks as well.

  • pghsheep

    If I hear one more Township person say “we are debt free” I am going to scream. Our future of cleaning up this mess is not being debt free. You idiots are passing it off to our children and grandchildren to clean up your mess.

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