Capitolwire: Impact Fee Deal Taking Shape
With Pennsylvania legislators back in Harrisburg after the holiday break, Capitolwire is reporting slow but steady process toward an agreement on a natural gas drilling impact fee.
When we last left off, the House had “non-concurred” on the Senate’s latest version of a bill imposing a levy on each gas well, and overhauling Pennsylvania’s drilling regulations. The move was designed to set up a joint House-Senate conference committee.
Corbett says his goal is a final bill before next month’s budget address, which will set the 2012 legislative agenda.
Here’s Capitolwire’s update:
[Governor Tom] Corbett and House GOP leaders want the fees to total $160,000 over a decade per well. The Senate has proposed a fee that starts at $50,000 per well, and over 20 years, comes to $360,000 per well.
A compromise plan to lop off the last 10 years of the Senate plan, making the fee $260,000 per well over 10 years, is tentatively being examined by both sides. Depending on the number of wells being drilled, that could bring up to $150 million in initial revenues, estimates say.
In exchange for raising the fee halfway to Senate levels, the governor and House GOP leaders would get a key concession: the fee would be imposed by counties. The Senate has asked for an additional provision added to that, which is that if the county commissioners opt out of a fee, the county would have to impose the fee if municipalities representing 50 percent of the county voted to opt into the fee.