The Pennsylvania Utility Commission announced last week that impact fee revenues for 2021 came in at $234 million, a 60 percent increase over the previous year and the second yearly total since the fee was enacted. The impact fee was implemented under Act 13 of 2012 and is a per-well fee or tax on unconventional natural gas production in the state. Unique to Pennsylvania, the proceeds of the fee benefit every county in the Commonwealth and help to fund environmental projects throughout the state.
Over the past 10 years, the impact fee has generated $2.2 billion. This is in addition to the other business and payroll taxes the industry pays for operating within the Commonwealth. Counties and local municipalities have used the proceeds from the impact fee to fund critical local infrastructure, public safety, and community projects. Since the beginning of shale drilling in the state, the natural gas industry has been a driving force for Pennsylvania’s economy – supporting hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and helping to create a manufacturing renaissance, while also playing a major role in improving the Commonwealth’s air quality.
Despite all these benefits, there continue to be calls by some elected officials to place additional taxes on the industry. Over the past eight years, the PA Chamber has led a broad and diverse coalition in opposing such attempts. The Stop New Energy Taxes Coalition has focused on touting the positive impact the natural gas industry has had on local communities throughout the state and promoting policies that will help the industry to grow and thrive. As part of these efforts, the coalition has highlighted the how much each region and county in the state has received from the impact fee. A county-by-county breakdown of total impact tax collections to date can be found on the coalition’s website.