News & Brews June 20, 2024

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Pa. impact fee brought in about $180M last year

The Post-Gazette reports that “Pennsylvania’s shale gas drillers paid about $180 million in impact fees last year,” a drop of about $100 million from 2022. The story points to “[t]he lower price of natural gas and fewer new wells drilled in 2023” as the reason for the decrease. As for what companies paid the highest amounts in impact fees? “Downtown-[Pittsburgh]-based EQT Corp., the nation’s largest natural gas producer with operations concentrated in southwestern Pennsylvania, paid the most in impact fees last year, with $26.8 million. It was followed closely by Chesapeake Energy with $25.5 million. Range Resources Corp., Coterra Energy, Seneca Resources rounded out the top five in that order.” The money “will be split between county and local governments directly impacted by drilling ($100.3 million); the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which funds environmental and infrastructure projects statewide ($63.8 million); and state agencies ($15.5 million).”

Casey takes up pro-abortion mantle

The AP reports that pro-abortion advocates have found an “unlikely messenger” in Pa.: Sen. Bob Casey, who once called himself a pro-life Democrat and whose father wore this title with conviction. Casey Jr. however, is now “doing something he’s never done before: attacking an opponent over abortion….”

Pa. legislature makes top 5 contested list

POLITICO reports on the five states that “are most likely to see legislative chambers flip this November.”  Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania makes the list as a top target of both sides. “There are roughly a dozen competitive [Pa.] House districts in play. Democrats are eyeing the Philadelphia area for flip opportunities while Republicans are focused on western Pennsylvania, home to coal mining and old mill towns that backed Trump.”

School district reserves increased $800 million last year

When school districts across Pennsylvania claim they’re underfunded, they conveniently leave out the fact that they’re holding a collective $6.8 billion (yes, billion) in general fund “reserves.” This represents an $800 million increase last year over the previous year. As the good folks at the Commonwealth Foundation point out, “More than half of Pennsylvania school districts have general fund reserve funds that exceed 20% of their spending.” Look up your school district’s reserve balance here.

House GOP committee to hold 4th tax cut hearing

This afternoon at 1:00 p.m., the Pa. House Republican Policy Committee will hold the fourth in a series of hearings on the proposal to reduce the state’s personal income tax from 3.07% to 2.8% and eliminate the gross receipts tax on electricityRead more here, or click here to watch the livestream at 1:00 p.m.

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