Appalachian Basin

Marcellus Shale a Source of Major New Revenues for Local Townships

Since Marcellus development began seven years ago, it has provided billions of dollars of investment and tens of thousands of jobs for Pennsylvanians.  From Williamsport to Washington, the positive impact shale development is having on our state, counties, and municipalities is simply astonishing.

Over the past several months, there has been plenty of chatter about the oil and gas industry paying its “fair share” in Pennsylvania.  After looking at the recently released impact fee revenue for counties and municipalities, one thing is certain: the industry is generating significant tax revenue for the Commonwealth.

In 2013, Pennsylvania’s natural gas impact fee revenue totaled $225 million, bringing the total impact fee revenue since its inception in 2012 to a staggering $630 million for local governments. And, according to Governor Tom Corbett, “The impact fee 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.”

Here is a closer look at what some counties and their municipalities received this year from Marcellus Shale development:

  • Beaver County – $370,941.56
    • South Beaver Township – $70,966.35
    • Ohioville Borough – $44,051.11
    • Hanover Township – $32,962.90
  • Bradford County  – $7,054,000.85
    • Columbia Township – $515,100.00
    • Albany Township – $398,894.41
    • Herrick Township – $515,100.00
  • Fayette County – $1,461,228.49
    • Luzerne Township – $222,550.90
    • Redstone township – $314,260.72
    • North Union Township – $136,768.80
  • Green County – $3,627,570.45
    • Cumberland Township – $906,875.01
    • Morgan Township – $558,868.11
    • Washington Township – $435,850.88
  • Lycoming County – $5,099,521.27
    • Cogan House Township – $540,829.50
    • Cummings Township – $515,100.00
    • Penn Township – $495,867.40
  • Susquehanna County – $5,456,748.60
    • Auburn Township – $587,691.17
    • Springville Township – $534,437.20
    • New Milford Township – $515,100.00
  • Tioga County – $4,404,637.93
    • Charleston Township – $515,333.68
    • Delmar Township – $515,100.00
    • Jackson Township – $442,042.65
  • Washington County – $6,115,862.79
    • Amwell Township – $609,545.31
    • Chartiers Township – $608,011.57
    • Cross Creek Township – $515,100.00
  • Westmoreland County – $1,705,434.10
    • Derry Township – $428,321.83
    • Sewickley Township – $255,787.64
    • Washington Township – $310,371.55

These are just a handful of the counties and municipalities that received some of the larger amounts of impact fee revenue. These impact fees – which are based on the amount of gas being produced, and the price of that gas – flow directly into counties and municipalities that host shale development. So far, we’ve seen this revenue grow year-over-year by over 10 percent in some counties, which has allowed townships to pay for or even expand local public services. And, according to a recent Duke University report, impact fee revenue has actually doubled the operating budgets of some townships.

Leroy Township Supervisor Jason Krise from Bradford County was very pleased with the $150,960.29 in impact fee revenue received, stating:

“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. At this point, the township hasn’t allocated the use for the 2013 impact fee. We will put it in the reserve account for the time being and evaluate the needs for the township.”

As shale development continues in the Commonwealth, counties and their municipalities will continue to reap the vast benefits of expanded development.  From impact fee revenue to an abundance of family sustaining jobs, not to mention a manufacturing renaissance right here in the rust belt, shale development has and will continue to be an economic driver for many years to come.


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