MDN owes an apology to Ohio Republicans who have told Gov. John Kasich where he can stick his high severance tax proposal. Last December, we thought OH state Republicans were set to cave on higher severance taxes (see OH Republicans Set to Cave on High Drilling Tax). They have not caved and it now appears there will not be a higher oil and gas severance tax in the budget due to be passed and signed by June 30. Caution: It’s still too early to pop the cork on the champagne bottle, but we have a bottle on ice ready to go.
However, the Republican-controlled legislature’s opposition doesn’t mean Gov. Kasich has given up. He’s now offering
a bribe 25% of the increased tax money to the counties where drilling actually happens, meaning the other 75% goes to people who had nothing to do with Ohio’s Utica Shale drilling. (In Pennsylvania, drilling communities get 60% of their version of a severance tax, called an Impact Fee.)