Gov. Tom Corbett has long held that he would not support a natural gas severance tax. However, he recently said that he might support a local fee on drillers. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, the Governor echoed previous statements from his staff that an impact fee that aids local governments is something he would consider.
“I would have to see what they would propose, and where the money would go,” Gov. Corbett said. “Money just to the general fund? No. Money to the locals, money to the county? I’d sit down and listen to them.”
Senate Republicans have been discussing an impact fee since talks on a severance tax fell apart last fall. They are in the process of crafting legislation that would determine how such a fee would work and where the money would go, said Drew Crompton, a top aide to Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson). Sen. Scarnati has said he would prefer a method that would keep “the lion’s share” of the funding for local governments, which he says are dealing with strains to their infrastructure, government services, and emergency response systems.
Gov. Corbett said alleviating impact on communities should be a topic of discussion for his new Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which meets for the first time today and includes PSATS Executive Director David Sanko as a member. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who will lead that commission, previously had ruled out taxes and fees as agenda items.