PA IFO Predicts 2016 Impact Fee Revenue Will Drop Another 7%

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Each year since 2012 Pennsylvania has assessed and collected their version of a severance tax–called an impact fee. As you can see from the chart, the first three years’ worth of collections were over $200 million per year. But starting in 2015 and the collapse of oil and natural gas prices, drillers laid down many of their rigs, and the gas slowed down–resulting in lower tax (whoops, fee) collections. Which is to be expected. In PA, the impact fee is collected and disbursed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). However, a different state agency, the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), analyzes production and does a pretty fair job of estimating what the collections will show. Last July the IFO made predictions for 2016 collections that range from $5 million to $56 million below what was collected in 2015 (see PA Independent Fiscal Office Predicts Impact Fee Revenue for 2016). With production numbers now updated by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, the IFO has re-run the numbers and now has a much better idea of what collections, which occur in April, will show. The IFO says the state will collect $174.6 million in impact fees, which is $13.1 million (~7%) less than last year. Perhaps most interesting is a number calculated by the IFO called the “Effective Tax Rate” (or ETR). The ETR is what the impact fee would be if it were called a severance tax. Last year the ETR was 6.9%. This year it will be 5%. When you add corporate income taxes paid by drillers to the ETR, you get a “severance tax” rate that is higher than any other oil and gas producing state! And still RINOs and Democrats want to tack on an extra severance tax. Blithering idiots…

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