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Monday, June 22, 2015

Severance Tax Won't Be in State Budget, But Negotiations are Continuing

From The Canton Repository:
A proposed tax hike on Ohio oil-and-gas drillers that’s been intensely negotiated for weeks — and debated for years — won’t be included in the two-year state budget, legislative leaders said Tuesday. 
Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, both Republicans, said that negotiations on a longstanding priority of Gov. John Kasich have been fruitful but need more time. 
“Unfortunately, time is never an ally in the budget process as you get toward the end,” Faber said. “So, today we have a choice: Halt that dialogue, move forward with an unfinished policy in the budget, and fight it out in conference committee; or to continue the progress outside of the budget and work toward a meaningful compromise during the next three months.” 
The tax hike’s omission from the two-year, $71 billion state operating budget that’s nearing a final vote comes as a political blow to Kasich, a likely 2016 presidential contender who has spent considerable political capital pushing the increase as a way to pay for income-tax reductions.
From Gas & Oil:
The Republican leaders of the House and Senate said Tuesday that an increase in tax rates on oil and gas produced via horizontal hydraulic fracturing would not be included in the $71 billion-plus biennial budget, as sought by Gov. John Kasich. 
Instead, Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said a task force of the two chambers would continue negotiations over the summer, with an eye toward a compromise package later in the year. 
The move would place the severance tax before a new Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission, with a deadline of Oct. 1 for submitting its recommendations to the general assembly. 
Faber had voiced optimism that a severance tax increase could be part of the biennial budget, but Rosenberger told reporters last week that his chamber would not support the inclusion in the spending plan for the next two fiscal years.


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