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Even in Tampa, Kasich and Batchelder continue to disagree over drilling tax
Kasich says it will happen; House speaker says caution
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

Presidential conventions are all about cohesiveness and that’s been the message throughout the week in Tampa. But WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that on one key issue, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other members of his party are divided.

Schultze: Debate among GOP on severance tax

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Gov. John Kasich’s last budget included a proposal to hike  the tax oil and gas drillers pay on what they take out of Ohio’s ground. Right now, it’s about 20 cents on a $107 barrel of oil, and 3 cents on a thousand cubic feet of natural gas. But GOP lawmakers stripped it out of the budget.

This week, again, Kasich declared he’ll get his way.

"You know its gonna happen. We are gonna get an severance tax and an income tax cut from that."

But Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder is a skeptic.

“I want to make certain we don’t discourage any oil companies from coming to Ohio. And all you’ve got to do is start talking about that kind of tax, and it’s not helpful. But that’s the difference that he and I have and we still love each other.”

“His response to that is, 'Hey, we’ve got the oil and gas they want. It’s not like they can just go shopping anywhere.'”

"Do we? That kind of goes with the question I’ve asked the governor. What’s down there. We don’t know, he doesn’t know and the best way we can find that out is to have the maximum number of companies drilling.”

This week, the U.S. Forest Service announced it will allow hydraulic fracturing in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest.


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