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The Center for Rural Pennsylvania released a new report recently analyzing how Marcellus Shale Impact Fee, also known as Act 13 dollars have been invested.

The study, entitled Analysis of Act 13 Spending by Pennsylvania Municipalities and Counties, is an in-depth look at how Act 13 funds received by the 37 county and 1,487 municipal governments in the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania were used during 2012, 2013 and 2014.

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Since the inception of the fee in 2011, drillers in Pennsylvania have paid more than $1 billion in impact fee revenues – this is op top of other corporate taxes, permitting fees, and vast investments and upgrades in roads and infrastructure directly paid for by drilling companies. These dollars are paid to all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties and other programs and agencies.

Some 90% of funds for uses were reported were for three major areas of focus: capital reserves, public infrastructure construction and emergency preparedness/public safety.

Here’s how community investments of drilling dollars were allocated:


According to the authors, it appears that the bulk of the dollars went to addressing long-term needs and investments in permanent community improvements with discernible contributions to quality of life.

There are also several other interesting findings from the study:

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• Act 13 monies impact municipal budgets by increasing the share of expenditures on highways and streets in the major rural Marcellus municipalities when compared to the rural non-Marcellus municipalities.

• While reported expenditures on conservation dropped by 23.6% in rural non-Marcellus counties, noticeable increases were seen in the Marcellus counties

• While rural non-Marcellus counties saw a modest reduction in reported spending with respect to health and welfare, significant reductions occurred in all three Marcellus county types.

• Though generally there were percentage increases in the category of general government expenditures by municipalities, as a share of total municipal expenditures, there was a slight decrease in the Marcellus municipalities.

• There were fairly significant decreases in police expenditures in the 2010/11 to 2012/13 time period. Expenditures in this category as an overall percentage share have also decreased slightly.

The Center is “a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania’s nearly 3.5 million rural residents.”

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