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Friday, May 16, 2014

Ohio House Says Yes to Severance Tax; OOGA Urges Senate to Follow Suit

From The Columbus Dispatch:
A fracking-tax bill that supporters say will provide long-term clarity for companies coming to Ohio to drill in the state’s shale regions passed a divided Ohio House yesterday. 
The bill sets a new 2.5 percent severance tax on shale fracking, a rate Democrats decried as a giveaway to the oil and gas industry, and as an overall tax shift because much of the revenue will go for an annual income-tax cut that, they argue, favors the wealthy. 
“We think it’s OK to be fooled by the oil and gas industry,” said Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown. “Why are we so afraid to make them pay their fair share?” 
But as the fracking industry tries to emerge in Ohio, Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said the state doesn’t want to do anything to chase away companies.
Read more here.

Further on this story, there is this from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association:
From Thomas E. Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association:

Today’s approval of House Bill 375 demonstrates that compromise remains an important part of the legislative process. We appreciate the efforts of the bill’s sponsors and managers for tackling a difficult issue and bringing all parties together to reach reasonable solutions.

While we have concerns about aspects of the bill, which will increase the severance tax to 2.5 percent, we remain supportive of the legislation and urge swift approval by the Ohio Senate.

The ultimate passage of HB 375 will provide oil and gas producers the necessary clarity and certainty to continue investing billions into developing the state’s Utica Shale for the benefit of all Ohioans.

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