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Kasich Defends Severance Tax Hike From Lobbyist Criticism

Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich is pushing back against oil and gas industry lobbyists who say now is not the time to raise the severance tax. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association argues that Kasich’s latest proposal of a 6.5% tax rate could drive away development—especially now as oil and gas prices keep dropping.  
But Kasich counters that the price of natural gas—which he says is Ohio’s main resource in the shale—has stayed, in his words, “pretty stable.”  
“It’s only when you sell that you would pay your fair percentage on the basis of the fact that you’re making Ohio less wealthy. You’ll make us a poorer state—every time you take valuable things out of the ground you make us poorer,” said Kasich.  
The governor says a higher severance tax rate will help diversify Ohio’s tax structure.  
The oil and gas association declined to respond to Kasich’s comments.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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