PA 2014 Impact Fee Disbursement Info: Why Did PUC Delay?

delayedOnce again the Pennsylvania impact fee–the equivalent of a state severance tax on all oil and gas drilling in the state–will bring in an enormous amount of revenue for the state: $223.5 million for calendar year 2014 to be exact. That’s down slightly from the $225.7 million levied in 2013. Yesterday the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC) released the official numbers, a day after state Republicans leaked a draft version of the report. Those rascally Republicans wanted to share the news that the impact fee is doing just fine, thank you very much, and we don’t need Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s Marcellus-killing severance tax of 17.3% just to feed the beast (teachers’ unions). Note that drillers are required to pay their impact fee/tax by April 1st. Last year the PUC, under then-Gov. Tom Corbett, released a preliminary report of monies raised and to be distributed on April 4th (see 2013 PA Impact Fee Sets Record: $224.5M, Grand Total Now $630M). This year the PUC, under Gov. Tom Wolf, still hadn’t released the report by early June. Why did the PUC hold back the report this year? It took Republicans leaking the details to force the hand of the PUC into releasing the official numbers. Was the PUC, under Wolf’s newly appointed chairperson Gladys M. Brown, sandbagging for political reasons–to influence the debate on the severance tax by withholding important information? You decide. Below we have a breakdown of the numbers for 2014–who’s getting how much–along with some pretty charts from the PUC…

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