Local Impact Fee Not the Answer; Pass
Natural Gas Extraction Tax
Sen. Stack speaks at the Marcellus Shale
Did you know that the fines collected from
red light enforcement cameras along
Roosevelt Boulevard are used to help pay for
transportation projects in communities
across the state?
The tax revenue from SugarHouse Casino in
Fishtown also gets distributed statewide.
If we’re willing to evenly divide red light
camera fines between Philadelphia and the
rest of the state, and we’re willing to
share the revenue from our casino with the
rest of the state, it seems like common
sense that we as Philadelphians should
benefit from natural gas extraction that is
taking place right now in southwestern and
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Right now, natural gas drillers can extract
our natural resources tax free.
That’s why several southeastern Pennsylvania
lawmakers came together this morning to call
on the governor and the General Assembly
today to enact a natural gas extraction tax
that benefits all Pennsylvanians.
We are the only gas producing state that
does not impose a natural gas extraction
tax. Considering our state’s dire fiscal
situation, there’s something seriously wrong
with this picture.
The people of Pennsylvania and many
legislators support this tax. The only one
who seems to be steadfast in the corner of
the natural gas drillers is our governor.
The country’s top four natural gas producers
are collecting hundreds of millions of
dollars in extraction taxes.
In 2010, Texas generated $1.7 billion;
Wyoming collected $721 million; Oklahoma
collected $743 million and New Mexico
collected $654 million.
Border state West Virginia is also
benefiting from natural gas, collecting $417
million last year.
At a time when the state is facing a
multi-billion-dollar deficit, severe cuts to
education and social services, and a growing
transportation infrastructure crisis, a
natural gas tax is not only fair, it’s
Right now, Sen. Joseph Scarnati, a
Republican from northern Pennsylvania, has
proposed a local impact fee on gas drillers.
Not a tax, but a fee.
impact fee would be fairly minimal and the
revenue collected from gas drilling would
mostly go to communities where the drilling
Philadelphia would see none of the revenue.
Considering our contributions in gaming
revenue and red light enforcement fines, not
to mention the tremendous amount of money
this city contributes to the state’s
economy, it is wholly unfair.
If we had the guts to enact a true tax, we
could ensure that affected municipalities
and the entire state benefit from natural
The natural gas industry came to
Pennsylvania because there’s a demand for
natural gas. Tax rates will have a minimal
impact. Last year, natural gas companies
drilled more wells in West Virginia than in
Pennsylvania. West Virginia has a 6 percent
tax and Pennsylvania has no tax.
That’s why the legislature must stand up
collectively, on behalf of the citizens who
elected us to serve them, to enact a natural
gas extraction tax that we can all benefit