MSC in Pocono Record: Pa. has a natural gas tax

Pennsylvania’s natural gas tax continues to pay off for communities around the state. Last week, the Commonwealth Financing Authority announced grants for 123 projects, including many locally. That’s great news to celebrate — and it’s important to remember that those grants, which support playgrounds, trails, flood mitigation and other environmental programs, are funded through Pennsylvania’s unique tax on natural gas, called the impact fee (Act 13).

That’s right — revenues from Pennsylvania’s natural-gas impact fee directly benefit communities across the commonwealth. These funds are not abstract figures nor are they dollars lost in Harrisburg — they result in real, tangible improvements.

We’re excited to see another round of projects funded — bringing the total to 715 projects worth more than $117 million over the past few years.

Per the Sept. 18 article, seven municipalities in Monroe County received nearly $2 million for projects like the replacement of a water line in East Stroudsburg, the construction of a fishing pier in Smithfield Township, and the rehabilitation of a pedestrian bridge Pocono Township’s TLC Park. Those are just a handful of the many projects announced this year that are funded through the impact fee.

Levied on top of all the other taxes and fees assessed on businesses in the commonwealth, the impact fee is Pennsylvania’s natural gas tax has generated nearly $1.5 billion in new revenue. Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf often claims the natural gas industry is not taxed or paying its “fair share.” The announcement of these projects proves just the opposite and demonstrates real dollars for community improvements trump political rhetoric any day.

Erica Clayton Wright, Marcellus Shale Coalition

Click HERE to view this letter online.