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

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Greater Akron Chamber

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


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
Government


Fate of Ohio's oil and gas severance tax bill is uncertain
Some senators are voting against it, wanting a higher tax rate
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
The severance tax would gain revenue from Ohio oil drillers.
Courtesy of WKSU File Photos
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A new tax on oil and natural gas drillers is halfway through the legislature, but is facing an uncertain future. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on the debate in the House.

LISTEN: KASLER ON TAX

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:27)


The bill puts a 2.5 percent severance tax on gross receipts on shale wells that are horizontally fractured, and allows drillers to deduct the commercial activity tax they pay from the severance tax they owe. It is estimated that will bring in $316 million over five years, which would go to an income tax cut. That was enough to get most House Democrats to vote against it, including Bob Hagan of Youngstown.

“We’re just going to give a tax break to those individuals who already get tax breaks," Hagen says. "I mean, it’s amazing. It’s like a reverse campaign contribution.”

Hagan also blasted the size of the fracking tax, which will be among the lowest in the country. It is lower than the severance tax in Republican Gov. John Kasich’s budget last year, and lower than what he proposed in his budget update this year. House Republicans who wrote and revised this bill several times note that it sends some proceeds to local governments impacted by fracking.

Republican Brian Hill of Zanesville voted against the bill in committee. He voted for it on the floor only because lawmakers approved his amendment to raise the percentage going to local governments from 15 percent to 17.5 percent.

“My support of this bill comes from not increasing the tax on local and the gas and oil industry, other than to do some of the things we’ve talked about as far as helping with the orphan wells and the regulatory side so that we’re being good stewards of our land and our resources,” Hill says.

The bill provides $21 million for the Department of Natural Resources for regulation, to cap orphan wells and for geological mapping. But another lawmaker from fracking country, Democrat Jack Cera of Bellaire, said the money going to those poverty-stricken and neglected communities is not nearly enough to help.

“I come up here and I see all the great things going on in Columbus and other large cities, and I think – ‘our crap still runs in our creeks in eastern Ohio’ and how sad that is," Cera says. "Investing in the infrastructure in eastern Ohio would help the industry, certainly a lot more than providing an income tax to Ohioans.”

But Republicans who backed the bill cautioned that while they feel this bill is not perfect, the industry could still be scared off by high taxes. Dave Hall is from Millersburg in Amish country, which has seen a number of drilling companies in recent years.

“They’re not in New York and New York wishes they were," Hall says. "They’re gone. You only have so many drilling rigs in the United States and North America. There’s competition for the investment.”

Three Democrats voted for the tax, and six of the House’s most conservative Republicans voted against it, those on the committee that had approved the tax said they opposed it because they feel it is a tax shift that grows government.

The sponsor of the bill said after two years of debate over a severance tax, he thinks the bill will bring drillers clarity. But maybe not for a while. It is been mentioned by several lawmakers that changes are possible in the Senate. And Gov. Kasich has said that this severance tax increase will not be enough for the income tax cut that he wants.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

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


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Copyright © 2014 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