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Ohio House plans vote on tax hike for gas drillers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House is preparing to vote on legislation raising Ohio's tax on oil and gas drilling.

The measure cleared a committee by a single vote despite objections from Democrats and anti-tax Republicans. The full House is expected to vote Wednesday.

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 go 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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