Lindsay Hoskins: How state income tax collection has helped Pennsylvania overall

Because of economic boom, some Pennsylvania households have seen boosts in personal income, which affects state income tax collection. In a study done where counties were categorized by how many wells were drilled in their area, income tax varied from states with and without drilling greatly. The average change in state income tax by county from 2007-2008 shows, “Counties with ten or more wells reported an average of 6.96 percent increase in taxable income, and counties with between one and nine wells reported a 3.08 percent increase.” In counties without wells, there was a .89 percent increase. With the increase of state income tax, more money goes to aid K-12 education, health services, transportation and other needs to improve the state (“State Tax,” 2011). As seen in chart 3 below, most taxes are distributed to improve the state’s overall infrastructure and services.

In researching this topic it is critical to pay attention to long-term effects that fracking brings. It is hard not to look at the big picture with the economy booming and towns improving their streets and infrastructure, but there are a lot of risks as well. With the newfound industry bringing money into the area, communities must plan ahead for when the money stops coming. Landowners and citizens must do their research to know if the short-term money is worth the risk and how to save money now for the future. While Act 13 may have a bad stigma, in actuality it is beneficial to local residents in fracking counties. If an area is being impacted, Act 13 may bring money directly back to impact a community. Citizens can make better decisions for their area if they conduct research. To protect their land, while benefitting from one of the greatest booms of the century, citizens must do their homework.