Ohio Drilling Tax Hike Clears Panel; House To Vote

An Ohio House committee has approved a 2.5 percent tax hike on oil and gas drillers in Ohio.(Photo: Flickr)
An Ohio House committee has approved a 2.5 percent tax hike on oil and gas drillers in Ohio.(Photo: Flickr)

A state House committee has narrowly approved legislation raising Ohio’s tax on oil and gas drilling despite objections from Democrats and anti-tax Republicans.

It cleared the Ways and Means Committee by a single vote Tuesday, after years of debate. The full House could vote Wednesday.

The compromise imposes a 2.5-percent severance tax on horizontal wells, including those extracting resources through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That tax is less than Republican Gov. John Kasich wanted but more than the industry would’ve liked.

Fifteen percent of tax proceeds go to restore state local-government and library funds; to fund budgets in host counties; to fund competitive infrastructure grants; and to set up a long-term trust fund for drilling counties. The vote came after money to county budgets in the bill was halved.

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