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Local governments hurt by declining impact fees, says Moody’s

Declining impact fee revenue from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas industry is hurting many local governments’ budgets, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. “The data show that hydraulic fracturing has been very important to these towns,” says Moody’s analyst Michael Higgins. But he points out that as natural gas production has risen [...]

Wolf renews call for natural gas tax

Governor Tom Wolf is renewing his call for a severance tax on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. It was among his central campaign pledges three years ago, but so far he’s been unsuccessful getting it through the Republican-led legislature. In his annual budget address Tuesday, Wolf didn’t mention the tax at all– instead focusing on efforts [...]

Report: gas impact fee revenue will hit record low this year

Revenue from Pennsylvania’s natural gas drilling impact fee is expected to hit a record low this year, according to a report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office. The IFO projects the fees will bring in $174.6 million–down 7 percent compared to last year. It’s a 23 percent decline since peaking at $225 million three years [...]

A new year, a new round of gas severance tax proposals

State lawmakers are back in Harrisburg this week, and not surprisingly, they’re looking at levying new taxes on Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers. As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, this tax has been debated for years, as lawmakers of both political parties have looked to the gas industry to help alleviate the state’s fiscal woes. This [...]

Wolf hoping third time’s the charm on severance tax

After failing to pass a natural gas severance tax for the last two years, Governor Tom Wolf is hoping this year, the legislature will get on board with his proposal. Following an event at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia Tuesday evening, Wolf said he plans to ask for a tax on Marcellus Shale [...]

Court gives legislature 6 months to fix gas law

Pennsylvania’s highest court struck down industry-friendly portions of the state’s 2012 oil and gas law Wednesday, giving a win to municipalities and environmental groups that challenged it. But one section dealing with how the public should be alerted when a spill happens remains in limbo. The law, known as Act 13, required state environmental regulators [...]

Gas drilling impact fees fall to $188 million

As expected Pennsylvania’s gas drilling impact fees fell to the lowest amount ever last year, according to figures released by the state Public Utility Commission Wednesday. The fees brought in $187.7 million in 2015– down from $223.5 million collected the year before. Over the pas five years, the fees have brought in more than a [...]

States should put fracking money in trust funds, says new report

States at the center of the recent oil and gas boom should prepare for the inevitable bust and put drilling revenues into permanent trust funds, says a new report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. The researchers singled out Pennsylvania and argue it should enact a severance tax on gas production. Drillers currently pay [...]

Gas impact fees expected to drop 17 percent this year

The year 2016 is already shaping up to be a bad one for Pennsylvania’s gas industry, and it’s going to hurt state and local governments too. Impact fees paid by drillers are projected to bring in the lowest amount ever — $185.5 million — according to a new analysis by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office. It’s [...]

State Auditor General to investigate where drilling impact money is going

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (D) plans to investigate how local governments are spending the millions of dollars they’ve received from gas drilling impact fees. The fees have brought in more than $854 million to Pennsylvania since 2012. The majority of that money gets sent back out to local governments. But so far, $33.1 million [...]

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