WV Senate Bill Allows Counties to Assess “Impact Fees” on O&G

A newly introduced bill in the West Virginia legislature–Senate Bill (SB) 295–appears to give WV counties the power to impose their own “impact fee” on the oil and gas industry. We say appears because the words “oil” and “gas” never appear in the bill–but those words do appear in a newspaper article discussing the bill. WV counties are in a bind. In PA, counties and towns get a healthy stream of revenue from PA’s “impact fee” (equivalent of a severance tax). When drilling comes to town roads get a lot of heavy truck traffic. Public services of all kinds–police, fire, government buildings–see more use. PA’s impact fee helps with those things. In Ohio, towns sign RUMAs with drillers–Road Use Maintenance Agreements. But in WV, the tax money counties did receive from the oil and gas industry was reduced in 2011 when the state legislature granted discounts to companies spending more than $50 million in the state. Want to fix or build a new road to handle traffic? Good luck! Enter SB 295 which (again) appears to grant counties the ability to assess certain fees, including an “impact fee,” on certain companies in order to assist with things like building and fixing roads. Here’s what we could find about SB 295…

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