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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

House Bill Would Decrease Property Taxes

House Bill 1373 would allow schools across the Alleghenies to collect taxes from drillers, but, at present, state legislators have not yet voted on the bill.

Dan Fisher, Bald Eagle Area School District superintendent, said his schools are currently missing out on about $2 million a year in tax revenue from gas drilling because of a 2002 Supreme Court decision that keeps Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts from collecting gas or oil taxes from drilling companies.In 2001, when the school district was permitted to collect taxes from drillers, it collected about $65,000 off of just a few wells.

In 2006, with more than 70 wells falling on property in the district, schools received no money.

Fisher said the bottom line is local taxpayers would see a decrease in property taxes if legislators vote to collect taxes from drillers.

"Obviously, it would be an increase in revenue. But for any municipality or school district that lies on the footprint of the Marcellus shale deposit, it will be a way for them to increase revenue without constantly having to put so much pressure on property taxes," Fisher said. Information from WTAJ

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