Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Allegheny County Council President Rich Fitzgerald will propose legislation tonight that could lower property taxes by as much as one mil. The measure would authorize officials to tap into natural gas deposits beneath county-owned land to lower the county’s $50 million per year energy bill. Fitzgerald’s plan will allow agencies to utilize natural gas for heating, cooling, and power, and authorize the sale of excess gas for royalties. He says he sees no opposition against lower taxes, but could see other problems arising from natural gas drilling. Fitzgerald gave no specific timeline on his legislation offering that much research needs to be done before any drilling can commence. Allegheny County owns tens of thousands of acres, much of which does lie on top of the largest natural gas deposit in North America.