Severance tax omission noted
Gov. John Kasich used his annual State of the State speech Monday to propose many interesting concepts to continue Ohio on the path toward a new place in the 21st century.
But one glaring issue he did not mention involved the oil and gas industry.
While Kasich spent much of the address discussing his ideas for education – as it seems governors have done since the state first became involved in education issues – he failed to address a potential source of revenue that doesn’t depend on the vice of gambling nor on the backs of cash-strapped property owners to pay ever-increasing levy requests.
A severance tax of some sort on the natural resources that are being drilled out of the ground across Ohio would not put an end to the energy boom.
It would not end the rush of drilling. It would not end the construction of pipelines and processing facilities. It would, however, allow the state to compensate its citizens, through its counties and local governments, through a return on revenue to take the place of money that has been wiped out as Ohio adjusts to its new budgeting realities.
The money also could go into the rainy day fund that Kasich is bent on rebuilding, which is a wise decision.
Dozens of other states have energy extraction taxes that help fund projects or go into those state’s general funds.
Kasich glaringly failed to take a side on the issue.