Sen. Joe Scarnati Admits Impact Fee is Really a Tax

In all of the coverage of PA Gov. Wolf’s ill-fated budget–the highest ever for the state of Pennsylvania–we spotted one comment that validates what we’ve been saying for more than two years: The Act 13 “impact fee” is really just a tax. In fairness, it’s 60% fee and 40% tax because 60% of it stays in the communities where drilling happens to reimburse them for things like improving roads, extra law enforcement personnel and beefing up local fire departments. The 40% portion disappears into the black hole of Harrisburg–into greasy politicians’ fingers. In February 2012 MDN pointed out the so-called impact fee is really just a tax (see PA’s New Tax on Drilling (er Sorry, Impact Fee)). The chief architect of the impact fee, State Sen. Joe Scarnati (Republican from Jefferson) finally admitted it yesterday. He blamed Gov. Tom Corbett for not wanting to call the impact fee what it really is–a tax–and he said so to the Philadelphia Inquirer

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