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Ohio House Approves Tax Hike For Shale Drillers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House has approved legislation raising Ohio’s tax on oil and gas drilling despite harsh criticism from Democrats and anti-tax Republicans.

The measure passed on a 55-35 vote Wednesday, after clearing a committee by a single vote a day earlier.

The bill imposes a 2.5-percent severance tax on horizontal wells, including those extracting resources through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That tax is less than the 4 percent Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) wanted but more than the industry would’ve liked.

The 15 percent of tax proceeds that goes to local communities has divided lawmakers. After state local-government and library funds are restored, 25 percent of the remaining allotment goes to county budgets. That’s down from 50 percent proposed earlier.

Opponents say that’s not enough to fund needed infrastructure improvements.

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