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Memo to Kasich: Tax the frackers

Published: December 18, 2012 4:00 AM

The Ohio Lottery was promoted as the answer to Ohio school problems, but once it was passed was transferred to the General Fund and schools get only a few dollars.

Tobacco lawsuit funds were collected to be spent in preventing our adults and children from the harmful addiction of tobacco, and they were switched to pay for E-Check.

"Vote for four casinos in Ohio to fund schools, etc." suddenly exploded into "save racetracks with slot machines" to storefront gambling, resulting in addiction, destroying people, families and businesses and making news as the new addiction and a major problem.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that gas taxes could only go for roads and bridges, and the part going to schools had to stop. I wonder how many school buses use fuel?

Consider this solution to most of Ohio's problems: Tax at the wellhead the wells producing products by cracking shale. Several states do it, and Texas leads with a tax of over 7 percent.

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The gas and oil boys did a job on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources convincing them to give them everything they asked for. So fracking is a done deal, and that's not going to change. Instead of fighting fracking, we need to tax it at the wellhead. That will make some howl. Let them howl.

If Governor Kasich has any fortitude, he will get this done. Part of this tax should go to schools along with enough to fix up our roads being destroyed by this new energy source.

Natural gas is around $3.80 per 1,000 cubic feet, but in Japan it can go for almost $10. Do you really think that export market will be turned down for local manufacturing and production jobs?

Governor Kasich, if you want to do your job as governor, tax the frackers. It will take a tough man to do this, but it's what needs to be done.

Charlie Beckwith, Kent

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anonymous Dec 20, 2012 2:48 PM

I think the best thing to do is to shut down everything in Ohio until we can get the schools all the money they would like.

anonymous Dec 20, 2012 7:32 AM

Gov. Kasich surely is not on my Christmas list but I have to give him credit where it's due. He tried to implement a tax on the 'fracking' industry that would fund an across the board tax cut for Ohioans. He was blocked from doing it by the Republicans in the state house. Providing further evidence that Republicans only back tax cuts when they benefit the wealthy. Clearly for them the fracking profit margin for big investors is more important than the tax rate for you and me. Remember that next time you vote.

excerpt from Columbus Dispatch article in yesterday's paper...

Kasichs plan to raise severance taxes on oil and natural gas producers and use the revenue to support a cut in the state income tax. The tax hike would apply to oil and gas production from horizontal hydraulic fracturing or fracking operations in the Utica shale play in eastern Ohio counties.

Kasich pitched the plan in March as part of his mid-biennium budget overhaul, but it went nowhere in the House after energy industry lobbyists blasted the proposal. They complained that a tax increase would single out one industry and could curtail investments in Ohio by oil and gas companies.

anonymous Dec 19, 2012 9:26 AM

Hydraulic fracturing has been done in Ohio since 1952. It is part of the completion process and without it there wouldn't be as much oil and gas production as we have now. Pretty much every well since 1952 has been fractured. This is not a new process, nor is it a result of the Governor's actions.