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Economy and Business

State severance tax proposal returns with industry support
Ohio Rep. Matt Huffman says the measure would producenearly $2 billion over 10 years

Andy Chow
Ohio State Rep. Matt Huffman
Courtesy of Ohio House
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In The Region:

There’s a renewed attempt to raise more money for the state through an increased tax on the shale gas industry.

Members of the Ohio House introduced a bill to increase the severance tax on the oil and gas industry. The bill would also create exemptions and tax credits for certain drilling operations.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Matt Huffman, the measure would generate about $1.7 billion of net new revenue over 10 years.

That money would help the state fund its regulatory framework, including well inspectors. It would be used to close up old, abandoned wells while the rest of the money would go towards the Income Tax Reduction Fund.

Huffman says the oil and gas industry supports this effort, especially when it comes to increasing the state’s regulatory staff.

Hear Huffman on the severance tax bill.

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“They like that part of it because it’s like: 'If we stand here and wait for 100 days waiting for the inspector to show up, you know I’ve got guys standing around doing nothing, that costs us money. So we want that money to happen’,” Huffman says.

Gov. Kasich proposed an increased severance tax in his budget earlier this year, but it was pulled from the final bill. Huffman says that this legislation cuts the governor’s proposal by about 35 percent.

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