Government

Coalition Urges Ohio Senate to Reject Severance Tax Hike

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Protect Ohio Jobs Coalition is urging the Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee, as it begins hearings on the severance tax increase proposed by Gov. John Kasich, to reject what it called “the job-killing tax.”

The coalition instead urges lawmakers to “focus on policies that encourage oil and natural gas industry growth and job creation.”

The coalition describes itself as a group of elected, community, labor and business leaders “dedicated to ensuring tax policies do not stop the growth of Ohio’s Utica shale development, the Ohio businesses that support it and the Ohio jobs it creates in the oil and natural gas and related industries.”

Participants of the 75-member organization include Dearing Compressor & Pump in Youngstown; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 64; Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce; Marietta City Mayor Joe Matthews; Outdoor Icon LLC and host of the Mahoning Valley Shale Show, Denny Malloy Jr.; Rob Palowitz, president of Palo Creative; Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396; VEC Inc./Evets Oil & Gas; Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council; and Youngstown Warren Black Caucus.

“Increasing the severance tax by 45 times as proposed in the as-introduced version of House Bill 64 could have a devastating effect on Utica shale development in Ohio,” said Canton City Councilman Kevin Fisher, in a prepared statement. “The oil and natural gas industry’s development of the Utica shale is supporting much needed employment in Ohio and developing job-creating supply chains across the state. And it is lowering energy costs for Ohio families. Now is not the time to slow down its momentum with a burdensome and unnecessary tax increase.”

“The Ohio Senate has a distinguished record of advancing pro-growth economic policies,” said, Skip Gardner, president of the Guernsey County Board of Commissioners. “We urge senators to continue this prudent legislative tradition and reject imposing a stifling tax increase on Ohio energy production that could threaten investment in Ohio, drive good-paying jobs out of the state, and cause energy costs to rise.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.