Shale Impact Fee Tax Revenues “A Tremendous Help” for Pa. Communities

A tremendous help”; “boost to the community;” “An economic lifeline” – this is how the hundreds of millions in dollars in shale impact fee tax revenues are being described following local government disbursements announced by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission this week.

The benefits – especially for county and local governments – are real and they are growing. But as one local official cautioned state leaders: “Don’t take it away.”

We certainly agree. And for more details about these benefits, click HERE.

Here’s what they’re saying about these broad-based benefits:

  • “A tremendous help”: Bradford Twp. is slated to receive $62,673.26, which can be used toward road and bridge projects, among other approved applications. Bradford Twp. Supervisor chairman Steve Mascho was pleased to hear the news. “That’s great,” he told The Era. “Any funding we can get is a tremendous help. It is always needed.” … Foster Twp. Supervisor chairman Dale Phillips was also glad to learn that his municipality would be getting impact fee money. The township is set to receive $26,874.14. … He said the township will likely put the funds into road repairs.  “I think that’s where we’d need it the most — a little shot in the arm,” Phillips said. “It helps us not to raise taxes when we can get money from other sources. Any additional revenue generated is always welcome to take the burden off the taxpayers.” … St. Marys City Manager Dave Greene said the Act 13 Impact Fee money will be used to fund the reconstruction of city roadways as well as storm water system improvements. (Bradford Era, 6/3/14)
  • Impact fees completely eliminate twp. debt, keep taxes low: LeRoy Township … supervisors are happy with the $150,960.29 that was recently allocated to the township. According to information from the Pennsylvania PUC, Bradford County will receive $7,054,000.85. … LeRoy Township supervisor Jason Krise said, “With receiving the impact fee, we have been able to completely eliminate the debt for LeRoy Township, thereby allowing us to maintain the tax rate for the residents and to allow us to create a reserve fund for future years.” (Daily Review, 6/4/14)
  • Shale revenues “benefit the life of Butler County residents”: Initiation of a drug court program, repairs to the R.C. Miller Bridge and planned renovations at Alameda pool. These are some of the results of the millions of dollars from state impact fees on oil and gas drillers that have trickled to Butler County in its first two years of distribution. The state late last week announced distributions of the money for this year showing an increase to the county as well as most municipalities for the coming, third round. The county in July will receive $1.75 million. That’s about a $600,000 increase over last year’s disbursement, and it brings the three-year total to about $3.75 million. The 57 municipalities in the county will get another $2.79 million this year. That’s an increase of little over $1 million from last year, and brings the three-year total to $5.89 million. … Chief Butler County clerk Amy Wilson said it’s always good to see an income source on the rise. During the past two years, some of county’s money has been used for physical needs, such as bridge repair. … “The commissioners try to use the money to offset direct impact of the shale industry since the money is a benefit to the county from the shale activity,” Wilson said. “Or they use the money in ways that will benefit the life of Butler County residents overall.” (Butler Eagle, 6/3/14)
  • Impact “fees have been a boost to the community”: This is a bonanza Cumberland Township didn’t anticipate. The Greene County municipality will receive $906,875 in natural gas impact fees this year. That is $406,875 more than the $500,000 the supervisors budgeted. … The township, to its great benefit, is getting 80 percent more than planned. … The state collected $225.75 million from energy companies on drilled wells in 2013, an increase from $202.4 million the year before and the highest total in the three years the fees have been assessed. … Amwell Township was on top in Washington with $609,545.31. Collectively, the counties and their municipalities will receive $25,695,350.71 in Act 13 money, with Washington and its towns getting $16,212,940 and Greene and its municipalities $9,482,411.. … Chartiers Township, likewise, has realized positive impacts from the impact fees, totaling about $1.9 million over the three years. Its 2014 figure is $608,011.57, second highest in Washington County. “It’s a higher amount than we received last year, and a pleasant surprise,” said Jodi Noble, township manager. Chartiers, she said Tuesday, got about $578,000 in 2013 and $682,000 in 2012. Noble said the township had earmarked the impact fee money for infrastructure and capital improvements, with “a good bit of it going to reconstruction of Allison Hollow Road.” … The fees, Noble said, have been a boost to the community. … MSC President Dave Spigelmyer echoed that sentiment Tuesday. “Responsible shale development continues to be an economic lifeline for communities across the entire commonwealth,” he said. “These disbursements, which have increased more than 10 percent year over year, are providing critical revenues streams directly to local governments as well as for important environmental-focused programs.” (Washington Observer-Reporter, 6/4/14)
  • “$22 Million Coming to Tioga, Bradford Counties In Impact Fee Revenue”: Two Northern Tier counties will get more than $22 million dollars in impact fees collected from natural gas drilling companies. Leaders in Bradford and Tioga counties say they want to use that money to save taxpayers money. … According to PUC, Bradford County and its municipalities will receive over $3,748,241 and Tioga County will receive $7,482,060. Bradford County will receive $7,054,000 and Tioga County will receive $4,404,637 from impact fee disbursements to local government. Tioga County Commissioner Erick Coolidge says “It’s a true godsend and a blessing.” (WETM, 6/3/14)
  • “Energy companies pay more in gas well impact fees in 2013”: The state collected $225.75 million on drilling activity in 2013, up about 11.4 percent from $202.4 million in the prior year, and will distribute nearly $44 million to county and municipal governments in Western Pennsylvania, the PUC reported on Monday. … “We’ll take it; $100,000 is not too shabby,” said Lori Ziencik, manager of Frazer, which will get the most fee money in Allegheny County and intends to spend it to repair roads. … Washington County and its municipalities will receive the most this year: a combined $16.22 million. Amwell is set to receive $609,545, the second-highest municipal total in the state. Butler County municipalities will receive more than $1 million more than last year. … Sewickley Township in Westmoreland County used some fee money to buy defibrillators — a $35,000 bill — but plans to spend part of this year’s $255,788 allotment on roads damaged by the harsh winter. (Tribune-Review, 6/2/14)
  • $806k in drilling revenue for Indiana Co.: Indiana County and its municipalities will receive more than $806,000 from the state’s Marcellus shale impact fee collected on unconventional natural gas wells in 2013, an increase of more than 18 percent over last year. Of that, the county will get $344,288, and the county’s municipalities will get a combined $461,780, according to PUC. … Last year, Indiana County received $386,709 from revenue produced from the impact fee; the county’s municipalities collectively received $292,302 last year, for a total of $679,011. (Indiana Gazette, 6/3/14)
  • “Counties Bring in Millions From Drilling Impact Fees”: If you take a ride around Susquehanna County it won’t be long before you realize natural gas drilling is one of the county’s biggest industries. Over the years hundreds of wells have popped up, bringing jobs and now more impact fee money to the county. “I think that it’s a good thing. It’s nice for our area to get that kind of money it has had an impact on our area and that money can go to good use,” Rick Aney of New Milford said. … Susquehanna County is just one of many counties in our area that will get some of the millions of dollars in impact fees. Lenox Twp. is in line for more than $400,000. Lenox Twp. supervisor Fred Benson … said since Pennsylvania started a drilling impact fee, the township has been able to fix its roads and buy new equipment. He hopes this program is here forever. “I hope it stays right here. Don’t take it away, as long as the legislatures and the senate keeps it here we’ll be alright,” Benson said. (WNEP, 6/3/14)
  • Beaver Co. impact fee revenue totals $740k: Beaver County will receive nearly $371,000 in drilling impact fees from the state, while the share for county municipalities will almost equal that amount. … Overall, the state collected $224.5 million in fees from drillers in 2013, a 10 percent increase from the year before. Last year, the county received $294,300 in impact fees. … “It helps, especially when you’re looking at areas of recreation,” said Vince LaValle, Beaver County’s financial administrator. … Allegheny County will receive nearly $1.4 million in Act 13 funds while Lawrence County will get $287,400. … Perry Township Secretary/Treasurer Jan Marshall said township supervisors would make the final decision, but the funds would most likely go toward repairs to the long-closed Barkley Road Bridge, or for general road repairs, both of which have been needed in the township. (Beaver Co. Times, 6/3/14)
  • “Alle-Kiski Valley’s share of gas-drilling fees rises 13%”: The state will funnel more than $1.6 million into the coffers of Alle-Kiski Valley communities this year from Act 13 impact fees on Marcellus shale natural gas wells — a 13 percent increase from last year. Big winners included Washington Township, which will receive $310,372. … Two new wells were drilled in Washington Township in Westmoreland County in 2013, helping the township to pull in the highest impact fees in the Alle-Kiski Valley — up 17 percent from the previous year. … Since the township has been receiving six-figure checks in impact fees from the state in the past three years, it has used the money for roads and equipment such as new trucks for the road department. … “The impact fees have allowed us to stay caught up on road-paving expenses, which has allowed us to not raise taxes,” said Supervisor Rich Gardner. Washington Township last raised property taxes in 2007. … Clinton Township in Butler County is set to receive $90,188, a 216 percent jump from last year’s $28,581. The whopping increase is riding the wave of Butler County’s overall 51 percent increase over the previous year. “This is great,” said Jim Halstead, roadmaster and Clinton Township supervisor, who said the money will go toward repairing local roads. “Without that fee, we would only have the money to throw Band-Aids on our roads,” he said. (Tribune-Review, 6/2/14)
  • “Natural gas impact fee revenue totals $225 million for 2013”: The nearly $225 million in impact fees that counties, municipalities and state agencies will receive this year from the natural gas industry can be viewed on the state PUC web site, Gov. Tom Corbett announced today. The Act 13 impact fee revenue represents an increase of more than 11 percent from 2012. … To date, the impact fee generated $630 million since its inception in February 2012, said Corbett, which is in addition to nearly $2 billion in corporate and personal income tax revenue paid by oil and gas companies in the past seven years. (PennLive, 6/3/14)
  • “Somerset County municipalities receive more than $200k in Act 13 money”: Somerset County municipalities are set to receive $216,022 in Act 13 money July 1. The fees are collected by the state PUC on active gas wells. After money is given to local conservation districts and other state agencies, the remaining funds are divided among municipalities. Municipalities that are home to active wells receive more funding than those with inactive wells. (Daily American, 6/2/14)
  • Shale fees prevent budget shortfalls: Armstrong County received an about 11 percent increase — from $570,375 to $662,984 — in impact fees the state collected from energy companies for drilling natural gas wells, the PUC reported on Monday. The 45 municipalities within the county received nearly $1 million in the fees. … “We’ve seen our funding increase slightly every year, which has helped us as we move ahead with our annual budget,” said Carly Cowan, Armstrong County’s Marcellus shale coordinator. … Cowan said the county put its allocation last year toward the 911 department’s $1.7 million operating budget. “Since we’re able to use that money for public safety, we were able to put that money into 911, which kept us from having a shortfall in the overall budget,” Cowan said. (Tribune-Review, 6/3/14)
  • $135 million for Pa. local governments: Counties throughout Pennsylvania learned what their shares will be from the impact fee collected from natural gas drilling. Bradford County will collect nearly $7 million from the fee. Susquehanna County gets $5.4 million. Nearly $5 million goes to Lycoming County, and Wyoming County’s share is expected to be a little more than $1 million. All four counties are among the most in the state. Townships, boroughs, and cities found out their shares on Monday as well. The funds come from a statewide distribution of $135 million, paid by companies drilling gas in Pennsylvania last year. (WNEP, 6/2/14)
  • “Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery counties to get Marcellus Shale impact fees”: Lehigh, Northampton and Montgomery counties will receive about $1.4 million in Marcellus Shale impact fees collected during 2013, according to State Rep. Justin Simmons. … “Even though Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties are not part of the Marcellus Shale formation, residents are still receiving a financial benefit as promised under Act 13,” Simmons said. “The funding can be used in a variety of ways that improve our quality of life, including water system upgrades and road repairs.” The counties will receive the payments July 1. Lehigh will get $340,418, Northampton 286,776 and Montgomery $774,718. (WFMZ, 6/4/14)