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"Trapping Brook Road" by Chris Mattison

Potter County Government gets big check from shale gas production “impact fee”

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Information courtesy of Potter County Today

County and local governments received higher allotments this year from state’s tax on shale gas production. Potter County’s share was $316,800 for gas activity in 2021, far above the $207,015 received last year for 2020 activity. The county also received an additional $25,000 that can be used for certain environmental and/or recreational projects, and a $40,000 allotment for local bridge projects.

Top recipients in Potter County (2021 payments in parentheses) were: Sweden Twp., $76,838 ($46,613); Ulysses Twp., $68,120 ($43,873); West Branch Twp., $53,688 ($32,609); Summit Twp., $41,472 ($25,079); Eulalia Twp., $35,530 ($21,891); Clara Twp., $24,579 ($17,446); Coudersport, $20,641 ($13,517); Keating Twp., $19,706 ($12,197); Pleasant Valley Twp., $19,689 ($16,967); and Wharton Twp., $19,592 ($11,902).

A boom in local gas drilling kicked off in 2007-08 after companies verified deep pools trapped two or more miles underground in shale formations. Two companies in particular – JKLM in Potter County and Seneca Resources in Cameron and other counties – became major players. Pennsylvania imposed a tax, described by politicians as an “impact fee,” on shale gas in 2012. Sixty percent of fees collected from energy companies go to counties and local governments and 40 percent to the state.

County and local governments can use the money for preservation and reclamation of water supplies; improvements to roads and bridges; construction and repair of water and sewer systems; delivery of social services; local tax reduction; housing; conservation districts; emergency preparedness and floodplain management.

The state’s share is used for emergency response planning, training and other activities; water, stormwater, and sewer system construction and repair; infrastructure maintenance and repair; as well as environmental initiatives.

Funds also go to county conservation districts, Pa. Conservation Commission, PUC, DEP, Fish and Boat Commission, Emergency Management Agency, Dept. of Transportation and Office of State Fire Commissioner.


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