Oil, gas drilling tax hike unveiled in Ohio House

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's oil and gas industry says it supports newly introduced tax changes that include a rate hike on horizontally drilled shale wells in a compromise struck with the Ohio House.

The industry balked at an earlier proposal by Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) to raise severance taxes on drillers and use the proceeds to deliver modest income tax relief to Ohioans.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association threw its support behind an alternative proposal from House Speaker William Batchelder and other members of his Republican caucus. Batchelder said the bill is carefully constructed to encourage gas exploration, environmental protection and regulatory reform.

The measure would raise the severance tax rate on horizontally drilled wells by 1 percent, then 2 percent, while rolling back similar taxes on traditional wells.

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