Natural gas impact fee revenue expected to be up this year, agency says |

Natural gas impact fee revenue expected to be up this year, agency says

Stephen Huba
A pond below a drilling rig used to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale near Houston in Washington County in 2008.

A state agency projects that natural gas impact fee collections for 2018 will exceed those from 2017 by $37.4 million.

Total collections on the impact fee for 2018 are projected to be $247 million, according to the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office.

Should the projection hold, it will be the largest annual amount generated, surpassing the 2013 total by $22 million.

“Pennsylvania’s tax on natural gas, the impact fee, is working as designed and is an important revenue source for statewide environmental and conservation programs, as well as communities in all 67 counties,” said David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

The impact fee is the annual fee that the state applies to each new unconventional well drilled into the Marcellus shale. Some of the money is distributed directly to counties to offset the costs of increased drilling activity. Some is made available to individual communities in the form of grants.

The IFO projection means that distributions to Pennsylvania counties and municipalities could total $137 million this year.

Act 13 of 2012 stipulates that a portion of the fee revenue be transferred to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for initiatives such as abandoned mine drainage abatement, abandoned well plugging, sewage treatment, greenways, trails and recreation, baseline water quality data, watershed restoration and flood control.

The higher projections are attributed to the fact that the revenue from 779 new wells offsets reduced collections from older wells and newly exempt wells, the IFO said. The impact fee is highest in a well’s first operating year.

Collections from previously disputed wells and outstanding payments also are a factor, the IFO said.

Revenue from the impact fee was its lowest in 2016 ($173.2 million) and its highest in 2013 ($225.7 million).

The fee will be collected in April.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.