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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Carroll County Commissioners Not Loving the Proposed Severance Tax

From the Free Press Standard:
Commissioner Jeff Ohler said he was contacted about Governor John Kasich’s proposal to enact a severance tax on the oil and gas industry. “If the tax happens, they are proposing that 25 percent of it comes back to local government,” Ohler noted. “There is no information on what the money can be used for or how it will be divided. I feel the money should come back to the local governments where the money is collected.” 
Ohler noted Carroll County is the hub of the oil and gas industry in Ohio currently with drilling in the Utica Shale. “If the money comes from here, then it should come back here with no strings attached on how we can use it,” he said. 
Commissioner Tom Wheaton said he received a call with information the money would be divided on a regional basis through local development agencies such as the Eastern Ohio Development Agency (EODA). 
“I’ve been against this tax all along,” he said. “ It’s a direct tax on the people. The people who have net leases for oil and gas will be the ones who pay the tax, not the big oil companies.” He noted the Carroll County Farm Bureau is also opposed to the tax. 
“The regional aspect bothers me,” said Commissioner Bob Wirkner. “Regional doesn’t mean each county can use the money as they see fit; to me it means someone at the regional level will be in charge.” 
“We have at least 75 percent of the producing wells,” Ohler noted. “The way this is set up is that the counties with no producing wells will also get money.”
Read more about this story here. 

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