Senate Committees Hold Hearing Highlighting Natural Gas Impact Fee

HARRISBURG – The state Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21) and the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), today held a joint public hearing to discuss the positive benefits of Act 13 Impact Fee dollars on Pennsylvania communities.

The public hearing featured testimony from counties, townships, conservation districts and economic development organizations throughout the state.

Since 2012, natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania will have paid over $630 million in impact fees to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.

During his testimony, Susquehanna County Commissioner Alan Hall addressed important contributions made by the industry following enactment of the Act 13 law.

“Municipalities and the County have used funds to improve bridges, sewer systems, roads, parks, and equipment to name a few. It has also allowed the entities the ability to free up other revenue streams to improve facilities, reduce debt, and prepare our communities for the future.”

Hall added, “the loss of the Act 13 funding would mean deteriorating conditions throughout the County with roads, bridges, infrastructure, lost jobs, and large tax increases throughout. Dealing with all the impacts without the funding will cripple our communities.”

Charles Stowe, President of the Butler County Association of Township Officials noted the benefits that Impact Fee funding has had on townships throughout Butler County.  “The 33 townships in Butler County have used the Act 13 impact funds in a number of ways. Some have chipped, paved, resurfaced, and widened their roads. Others have replaced culverts, replaced bridges, and implemented storm water improvements on their roads. Other townships have update equipment such as purchasing graders, trucks, a roller, a high lift, a snow plow, and a tractor with a boom mower.  Some are planning road improvement, and bridge replacement projects.”

“The impact fees have helped our townships hold the line on local taxes, plan for the future, and have expanded services for our residents,” Mr. Stowe added.

In testimony submitted by the Butler County Board of Commissioners they said, “The monies we receive through the Legacy fund has been dedicated to Alameda Park for various improvement projects and some was provided to the Glade Run Lake Conservancy and Dam for county residents working toward the goal of reopening a drained lake due to a dam that is in need of repair.  The funding from the Impact Fees impact all taxpayers countywide by dedicating these dollars for purposeful uses.”

“I have seen benefits of the Impact Fee on municipalities throughout my senate district, providing an important source of revenue to local governments to improve services for their residents,” said Senator Hutchinson.  “As Senator Yaw said during the hearing this morning, ‘Act 13 works…If it isn’t broke, why fix it?’”

For a complete list of testifiers, along with testimony and hearing Video/Audio, visit http://pasenategop.com/localgovernment/

More information about state issues is available at Senator Hutchinson’s website, www.SenatorScottHutchinson.com.