HARRISBURG — A bill that would provide a tax credit to petrochemical and fertilizer manufacturers who decide to invest in Pennsylvania communities is heading to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk after both the state House and Senate voted in favor of the legislation this week.
The state Senate voted 40-9 on Monday to approve the bill — House Bill 732 — and it was sent back to the House on Tuesday for another vote. The House approved the legislation by a 163-38 vote.
House Bill 732 would create the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, which would be available to facilities that use dry natural gas to produce fertilizer and other petrochemical products.
Both State Sen. Gene Yaw and State Rep. Tina Pickett, who represent the Valley, voted in favor of the bill. Gov. Wolf is expected to sign the legislation into law.
“Pennsylvania is the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States,” Yaw said. “That fact alone makes Pennsylvania one of the largest producers in the world. While previous administrations have failed to promote our position as a world leader in the natural gas market, this bipartisan bill acknowledges that fact. House Bill 732 will create hundreds, if not thousands, of upstream and downstream jobs, and I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for approving this bill.”
Under the program, a business would be required to invest more than $400 million in a Pennsylvania facility and create at least 800 jobs in order to qualify for a tax credit. The bill would require companies to make a good faith effort to recruit and employ local workers in Pennsylvania. A company would not be eligible for the tax credit until the jobs have already been created, according to a press release from Yaw’s office.
The program is capped at $6.6 million per facility, and the number of facilities that can receive tax credits is limited to four projects for a maximum total fiscal impact of $26.7 million per year.
According to the press release, the approach of the bill mirrors the Pennsylvania Resource Manufacturing tax credit, which was established during the 2012-13 budget and led to the location of the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Beaver County. Construction of that plant has already created thousands of jobs and is projected to have a long-term economic impact of $6 billion.