Natural-gas development appears to have a positive effect on the local collection of state taxes in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, according to an analysis by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Sales tax collections in six counties with 150 or more Marcellus wells drilled between 2007 and 2011 rose an average of nearly 24 percent during those years, compared to an average decrease of about 5 percent in 31 counties with no Marcellus activity, said Timothy Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics. "The data support anecdotes we hear about Marcellus development increasing local retail activity," he said.

Collections of the state's 1 percent realty transfer tax, which decreased 33 percent in non-Marcellus counties, rose an average of 4.3 percent in the six counties with more intense Marcellus activity.

– Andrew Maykuth