Ohio Lawmakers Say Now Is Not the Time for a New Fracking Tax

Feb 11, 2016

Fracking operations, like this well in Carroll County, are unlikely to see any increases in the state severance tax any time soon, according to Ohio lawmakers from both parties.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The issue of oil and gas drilling has been one that usually divides state lawmakers along party lines.

But Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, there is one aspect that seems to have consensus among Republican and Democratic leaders. 

The majority and minority leaders of the Ohio House and Senate agree that they shouldn’t raise the so-called severance tax on oil and gas drilling because the market conditions are too tough -- especially with the dropping price of gas.

But Republican Senate President Keith Faber of Celina says now might be the time to draw up an increase and have it trigger once the market rebounds.

For "the same reason everybody talks about the time to do redistricting is before anybody's on the ballot under the new maps, it may be time to talk about that tax reform before anybody thinks it’s going to apply."

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Minority Leader Fred Strahorn added that -- if or when an increase happens -- they’d like to see the revenue go back to the communities where the drilling is taking place.