GOP lawmakers want county money from drilling tax

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A pair of Republican state lawmakers is pushing for Ohio's shale-gas rich counties to get a portion of the money generated from a proposed tax hike on oil and gas drillers.

State Reps. Jay Hottinger (HAH'-tihn-guhr) and Al Landis, respectively of Newark and Dover, said in a statement Thursday that local communities must be compensated for road, bridge and infrastructure impacts from the shale boom.

A proposal moving through the Legislature calls for severance-tax increases of 1 percent, then 2 percent, on horizontally drilled wells, with proceeds funding a statewide income-tax cut.

Hottinger said county funds should be set aside first.

The legislation replaces a scuttled tax plan proposed last year by Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik). The new package would generate an estimated $2 billion over 10 years.

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