Backers to discuss Ohio shale well tax proposal

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Lawmakers will hear from backers of a proposal to increase taxes on horizontally drilled shale wells in Ohio.

The measure to be discussed at a hearing Wednesday is supported by Ohio's oil and gas industry as a compromise to an earlier plan pushed by Gov. John Kasich (KAY'sik). The industry had balked at Kasich's proposal to raise severance taxes on drillers and use proceeds to deliver modest income tax relief to Ohioans.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association supports an alternative proposal from House Speaker William Batchelder and other Republicans. Batchelder said the bill is constructed to encourage gas exploration, environmental protection and regulatory reform.

It would raise the severance tax rate on horizontally drilled wells by 1 percent, then 2 percent, while rolling back similar taxes on traditional wells.