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Thu Dec 22, 2016, 04:36 AM

Bill would give $264 million tax break to Ohio oil and gas industry

Ohio's oil and gas industry would get a retroactive windfall tax break, costing the state $215 million and local governments $49 million, under a bill passed by the legislature during the lame-duck session.

Senate Bill 235 is on Gov. John Kasich's desk and is ready for his signature or veto, one of which is expected soon. The multifaceted bill includes a spending measure, so that allows the governor to line-item veto portions of the bill he may oppose.

Kasich's office declined to comment on what he will do. But Kasich already has warned that below-projection revenue is foreshadowing a tight budget next year, and it's well known around Capitol Square that he and the oil and gas industry have a rocky relationship.

Kasich has attempted numerous times to increase taxes on shale fracking in Ohio, saying that Ohio's severance-tax rate is "a big fat joke" that lets out-of-state companies extract Ohio resources at little cost. Under industry pressure, GOP lawmakers have repeatedly blocked Kasich's proposed fracking tax hikes.

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/20/bill-would-give-264-million-tax-break-to-ohio-oil-and-gas-industry.html

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