Impact fee preferable
While speculating on the prognosis of enacting new and higher taxes on natural gas development makes for an interesting academic exercise, doing so often overlooks one critical fact: Thanks to Gov. Corbett and strong leadership in the General Assembly, Pennsylvania communities are already benefiting from the impact fee adopted in 2012.
This April, Pennsylvania communities will have benefited from over $600 million in impact fee revenue paid by gas operators collected in the last 18 months. This money is in addition to the over $2.1 billion derived from oil and gas development in other taxes like corporate, sales and personal income — many of which are not levied in other gas-producing states.
There will always be some politicians more interested in creating new taxes than creating new jobs. But don't be fooled.
Those advocating for a new severance tax can do so only if they take away hundreds of millions of dollars from county and municipal budgets. Then where will these dollars come from?
Gov. Corbett believes costs associated with drilling impacts ought to be paid for by gas companies — not local citizens.
The writer is Gov. Tom Corbett's energy executive.