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County received $10.5 million from gas tax

Lycoming County received a $10.5 million state disbursement of Natural Gas Impact Tax in 2018, the Marcellus Shale Coalition announced Friday.

Northcentral Pennsylvania received $50.6 million and the state, at-large, received $251.8 million. Since the implementation of the tax in 2012, total state revenue is approaching $1.7 billion, according to officials.

Of the $10.5 million, about $4.1 million went to the county government and $6.1 million to various municipalities.

The county commissioners said they were grateful for the financial aid.

“It’s good news for the county and local municipalities,” said Commissioner Rick Mirabito. “We try to use Act 13 funds to foster economic development by using it for major projects.”

The money has also played a key role in supplementing the county’s budget by purchasing capital items.

“I hope that the commissioners will get spending under control by reducing the amount of workers,” he said. “We need to protect the taxpayers — not raise taxes every year. We have to use Act 13 while we have it to bring taxes under control. If our budget is under control we won’t have the pressure of raising taxes every other year.”

Commissioner Tony Mussare said “we are blessed” be in an area so rich with natural gas.

“We are also fortunate the (state) Department of Environmental Protection implemented regulations that were strict enough to protect our pristine forests and watersheds yet allowing the industry to drill in areas that otherwise may not have been allowed,” he said.

Not only county public works, but the municipalities have also done good to invest in economic development projects, he said.

“This has improved the quality of life for all the residents of Lycoming County,” said Mussare.

David Spigelmyer, Marcellus Shale Coalition president, said $450 million has been invested in statewide projects.

“Unique to our state, Pennsylvania’s impact tax continues to be a winning policy solution for the commonwealth,” he said in a recent press release.

Many local governments have come to rely on the tax revenues in flood mitigation and prevention, emergency response planning and equipment, among others.

Money also is used to help protect the environment by strengthening wastewater treatment facilities, encouraging brownfield site remediation and plugging abandoned wells.

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