A recent column from Pennsylvania Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis M. Davin (“Correcting the record about the severance tax,” Apr. 30) omitted the funding solution that’s currently improving infrastructure in each of the 67 counties and driving broad economic and environmental benefits for all Pennsylvanians.
The commonwealth’s unique natural gas tax — the impact fee — is on track to generate nearly $1.7 billion since 2012, including hundreds of millions of dollars annually for local governments to fund critical infrastructure and conservation projects across the state. This tax is levied on top of all the other business taxes in Pennsylvania — a state with the nation’s second-highest corporate net income tax rate, no less.
Importantly, revenues from the impact fee directly benefit communities. Many of these projects include open space preservation, local parks, hiking trails and playgrounds, and key water, sewer, road and bridge improvements. In Northumberland County, for example, impact tax funding has been directed to Shamokin Creek flood mitigation, Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area bike trails and floodwall repairs, among other projects.
With safe, responsible natural gas development, Pennsylvania has a bright future ahead, but pro-growth policies that encourage investment are critical to getting there. A McKinsey & Co. study predicts a $60 billion increase in gross domestic product over the next decade and more than 100,000 additional jobs if we have the right policies to encourage natural gas production and use.
Pennsylvania has a generational opportunity to leverage this low-cost, abundant shale resource into long-term economic growth and environmental progress. We will continue to work with leaders in Harrisburg on tax and regulatory policy solutions that will ensure a brighter future for the entire commonwealth.
Marcellus Shale Coalition
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