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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Severance Tax Bill Heads to Ohio Senate, Where It Faces Scrutiny

From The Columbus Dispatch:
The Senate Ways and Means Committee got its first look yesterday at a House-passed severance tax bill, and some Democrats questioned if it was enough and if the revenue would be properly dispersed. 
After two years of debating how to tax the developing shale fracking industry in Ohio, the House two weeks ago passed House Bill 375, which would, for the first time, tax oil and gas based on the value of the product rather than on volume. 
Gov. John Kasich, who has been pushing for an increased severance tax that he argues would be fair for Ohioans, opposes the bill as inadequate. Some Senate Democrats agree – as did many Democrats in the House who opposed the bill. 
“I think it’s a bad deal for the citizens of Ohio,” said Sen. Michael Skindell, D-Lakewood. “We are giving it to companies that are literally making billions of dollars off of these products. And these are resources we don’t get back.”
You can read the rest of that article here.

Cincinnati.com also took a look at Governor Kasich's efforts to pass this tax bill and what the big picture is:
In the economic development arms race among states, perception matters. 
Right now, Texas is winning that battle. Toyota's decision in April to relocate its North American headquarters to Plano and consolidate other operations – which will take roughly 1,600 jobs out of Erlanger – is only the most recent example. 
Chevron and Apple also are putting more than 5,000 jobs in Texas, which has no personal or corporate income taxes. Goldman Sachs just hosted its annual meeting in Irving, where it employs 650 employees, and invited Texas Gov. Rick Perry to speak. 
With that as a backdrop, a new study by Matrix Global Advisors on Ohio Gov. John Kasich's latest tax plan merits a look – even as the legislature considers fast-tracking income tax cuts implemented in 2013. Kasich wants to reduce individual income tax rates by 8.5 percent over the next three years, expand Ohio's earned income tax credit, and increase the personal exemption for low- and middle-income housholds.
Read that whole article here.

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