This is the second year that Pennsylvania, under its new Act 13 law, has collected and will disperse an impact fee. In 2012 (based on 2011 drilling activity), the state collected and dispersed $204 million (see List of PA Impact Fee Disbursements by County/Town). This year, in 2013, the state has collected and will soon disperse $202 million based on 2012 drilling activity. (See the list of drillers and what they paid below, along with the list of municipalities and what they will receive, also embedded below.)
While the politicians and various organizations slap themselves on the back at how wonderful this is, we will remind you that 40% of the “fee” collected is a tax, not a fee–because it goes to municipalities that have zero drilling and thus zero impacts from drilling (it’s supposed to be an “impact” fee!). Why do they get money? It’s the sleazy political price to be paid for passing the Act 13 law. Payola. Shake down. Call it what you will. Example: Philadelphia gets $1.29 million of the $202 million collected this year for doing precisely nothing except putting their hands out–they get more than most counties with drilling. It’s the same for suburbia counties around Philly: Bucks – $524,925; Chester – $421,961; Delaware – $468,518; Montgomery – $673,442.