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Ohio Drilling Tax Hike Clears Panel; House To Vote

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — 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 (KAY’-sik) 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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