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Severance Tax Legislation Narrowly Advances

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A compromise proposal on a tax increase for oil and natural gas drillers is on its way to the Ohio House floor. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, the vote to move it was very close.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

The bill creates a 2.5% fracking tax to fund an income tax cut estimated around 1.5%, and it allows drillers to subtract the commercial activity tax they pay from that fracking tax.

Three Republicans opposed the bill along with all but one Democrat - including Mike Foley of Cleveland -- who said the rate is too low.

“I don’t think I’ve ever voted against a tax increase bill.”

But committee chair Jeff McClain of Upper Sandusky says problems with the bill will be worked out in the Senate.

"The politics of it is that that’s where it’s going to happen, not here. We are at the point where we need to do something.”

But Governor Kasich had wanted an income tax cut through a higher fracking tax rate along with increases in the cigarette tax and the commercial activity tax, which haven’t gotten hearings.

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