Thursday, February 13, 2014

Revised Ohio Severance Tax Proposal Raises Rate and Isn't Popular

From The Star Beacon:
House Republicans hope to roll out a revised fracking-tax bill this week with a slightly higher rate, a bigger income-tax cut and money directed to areas where shale drilling is most prevalent. 
Two weeks ago, Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, was discouraged by Gov. John Kasich’s position on his severance-tax bill, which was written with significant industry input. Last month, Kasich said he told House GOP leaders that “puny doesn’t work,” and that he would veto any proposal that doesn’t pass “the smell test in terms of what I think is fair.” 
Since then, Huffman said, “We’ve had several very productive meetings.”
Read the whole article here.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the revised proposal didn't receive a warm welcome yesterday:
But it didn’t take long for critics to pounce on the plan, which seeks to capture revenue from the expanding fracking industry. 
The American Petroleum Institute/Ohio, which represents a number of large fracking companies, said it doesn’t like the increased rate or that the plan no longer excludes drillers from the commercial-activities tax. 
Tom Stewart of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association said there are “a lot of problems” with how the bill defines when the oil and gas is taxed. “The conflict will induce ambiguity. The whole idea of this bill is to seek clarity.” 
Lawmakers in both parties questioned whether townships could access the new stream of revenue. Of the money for local governments, half would go to county commissioners in drilling areas for capital needs related to oil and gas development. The other half goes to a new nine-member commission, three of whom are oil and gas representatives, where money would be used to leverage infrastructure investment.
You can read that entire article here. 

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