Bend Over Ohio – You’re About to Get a Frack Tax

In classic socialist manner, a Republican-controlled Ohio House committee is set to vote today on a “compromise” (meaning it will hurt just a little less) bill that will raise Ohio’s severance tax on shale drilling, thereby reducing the economic miracle in the state. We’re still “months away” from final passage of the measure, but if this vote goes in favor of a high frack tax, you can be sure it will pass the full House and Senate. Which is unfortunate for Ohio’s landowners, drillers and the many people who now work for the industry and related businesses that sell to the industry. It will certainly mean a slow-down in drilling.

All because Gov. John “foreigner hunter” Kasich wants to transfer wealth from those who produce it (landowners and drillers, out of whose pockets it will come) to those who do not produce (via a state income tax cut). It’s sleazy–but there you go. Of particular interest is that most of the new tax (85% of it) will go out of the communities where drilling actually happens. The political calculation is that a few pennies on the dollar will buy those communities’ silence that they’re being robbed (better something than nothing, right?). In Pennsylvania, 60% of the money raised through a reasonable impact fee stays in the communities where drilling happens. That’s the right way to do it…

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