News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.


Greater Akron Chamber

Hospice of the Western Reserve

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Ohio House gets ready to vote on a drilling tax hike
But even House members acknowledge it is likely to change in the Senate

Karen Kasler
Ohio Rep. Jeff McClain says changes in the tax are likely in the Senate.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A compromise proposal on a tax increase for oil and natural gas drillers is on its way to the Ohio House floor. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, the vote to move it was very close.

LISTEN: Severence tax heads to the next level

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:49)

LISTEN: Expanded version

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:30)

In the last two years, a hike in the tax on oil and natural gas drillers has never been this close to reality.

Gov. John Kasich proposed a severance or fracking tax increase to fund an income tax cut twice. But Republican lawmakers worried about its effect on development of the state’s shale resources and proposed their own lower rate bill, which has been rewritten several times.

The latest one creates a 2.5 percent tax on gross receipts from shale wells in exchange for an income tax cut that’s estimated around 1.5 percent. The bill also allows drillers to subtract the commercial activity tax they pay from the fracking tax they owe, which will dramatically lower the revenue the severance tax will bring in.

Not perfect
House Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Gary Scherer of Circleville said he knows this compromise isn’t perfect. 

“I don’t believe there isn’t something in this bill that every single person that I’ve talked to has some problem with or they would do differently. Myself included.” 

Several lawmakers on the panel had problems with the bill, starting with Democrat Mike Foley of Cleveland, who said the tax rate is too low and provides an income tax cut that’s not needed. 

Not enough for locals
“I don’t think I’ve ever voted against a tax-increase bill. There’s a little bit of an irony here.” 

The bill also sends 15 percent of the revenue generated to local governments. That’s not enough, said Republican Brian Hill of Zanesville, which is in shale country in eastern Ohio. 

“I will be voting no on this bill, with a 15 percent level, with us not addressing some of the landowner issues.” 

Two other Republicans – conservatives John Adams of Sidney and John Becker of Cincinnati – said they were opposed to the severance tax increase because they feel it’s a tax shift and grows government. 

Patmon parts with fellow Dems, again
And Bill Patmon of Cleveland was the only Democrat to support the bill, which he said he did with misgivings because he’s concerned about infrastructure. Committee chair Jeff McClain of Upper Sandusky said he’s confident problems with the bill will be worked out in the Senate.

“The politics of it is that’s where it’s going to happen, not here. We are at the point where we need to do something.” 

Driller support the deal, and so do environmentalists
The bill passed 11-10. After the vote, Tom Stewart with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association said he thinks overall, the bill is a good package, but he says that the shale play is very difficult in Ohio, and the industry is very sensitive to costs.

“I think that both critics and proponents of the bill have pointed to the tax rate and said that it’s lower than other states. I don’t think Ohio should apologize for being a low-tax state.” 

And Jack Shaner with the Ohio Environmental Council says he’s pleased the bill puts $15 million toward more regulation and $6 million total for geological mapping and for plugging thousands of old, abandoned orphan wells. 

“Somebody else can carry the debate about ‘Should there be a tax decrease?’ That’s not my fight. My fight is the air, land and water.” 

The measure now goes to the House floor for a full vote. But there’s a chance Gov. Kasich won’t support it, since he wanted an income tax cut through a 2.75 percent severance tax, along with an increase in cigarette taxes and in the commercial activity tax, which haven’t gotten hearings in front of lawmakers.



Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

New options in Ohio for secular wedding ceremonies
Hello Mike, I support this action. I was not previously aware of the difficulty couples may encounter in locating officials to serve in their non-religious mar...

Charter reform bill includes controversial change for some teachers
I work for a former White Hat charter school; it was sold to another (for-profit) company this past summer and we were told that they would not pay into STRS/PE...

Bhutanese resettlement has had a big economic impact
Informative especially for nonmembers of North Hill. I appreciate the fact that you mention that the younger generation has an easier time than the elders but t...

Ottawa County Commissioner sworn in as new house member
Congratulations on your new appointment to the Ohio House. I'm certain you will do an outstanding job in your new role representing our district. When you have...

Holden Arboretum opens a new canopy walk and emergent tower
Visited the Holden Arboretum today to witness the incredible work you did constructing the tower and bridges.WOW! Very impressed. Knew the build had to be great...

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Four Geauga school districts consider consolidating on the Kent State campus
Berkshire was smart to merge with Ledgemont because it had shrinking enrollment and excess capacity at its high school. Now that Cardinal is dragging its feet ...

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University