OH Lawmakers Propose Their Own Version of a PA Impact Fee

We find it kind of amusing. Anti-drillers and Democrats (usually one and the same) in Pennsylvania bellyache and moan and groan that PA is “the only oil and gas state without a severance tax” and how life would be SO much better if only PA had a severance…blah blah blah. They point out that Ohio has a severance tax. West Virginia has a severance tax. EVERYBODY has a severance tax. Of course they conveniently ignore (or lie about) the fact that PA has an impact fee, or an impact tax, if you will. The impact fee levies a charge on new wells for a number a years on a sliding scale. Think of the impact fee like a property tax, and a severance tax like a sales tax on goods sold. The beauty of the impact fee is that 60% of it stays in the communities where drilling actually happens. Impact fee revenue goes to local municipalities to offset the “impacts” of drilling in those communities, money used for things like fire departments, police, roads, etc. An impact fee is superior to a severance tax in many ways. While OH and WV’s severance tax revenue went over a cliff when the price of natural gas went over a cliff, PA’s impact fee was far less affected. But the point of this post is not in the relative merits in the type of taxation. The point is that legislators in Ohio want to reallocate some of their severance tax revenue to be used in communities where Utica drilling happens. That is, they want to convert some of the OH severance tax into, essentially, an impact fee. So while PA bellyaches about having an impact fee and not a severance tax, states (like OH) that actually have a severance tax, would rather have an impact fee!…

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