Ohio business leaders oppose hiking severance tax on drilling

Source: Akron Beacon Journal

Local Ohio elected, business, labor and community leaders announce today the formation of the Protect Ohio Jobs Coalition, a group dedicated to ensuring tax policies do not stop the growth of Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry, the Ohio businesses that support it and the Ohio jobs it creates in related industries.

The Protect Ohio Jobs Coalition is a growing coalition of over 40 local leaders opposing the severance tax increase proposed in House Bill 64. The coalition is concerned that this drastic tax increase on energy production would threaten Ohio jobs and investment and could drive up energy costs for Ohio families and businesses. The coalition will continue to recruit members in an effort to join forces and protect Ohio communities, families, jobs and businesses.

The coalition offered the following comments:

“As Washington County Commissioners, it is our job to promote growth and opportunity for our community,” Washington County Commissioners President David A. White said. “The Utica Shale has presented the best opportunity for growth that we have seen in decades. The timing for a tax increase on natural gas production could not be worse for our region. We will see energy prices rise and jobs retreat. The Washington County Commissioners are opposing the severance tax increase in House Bill 64, and I ask our legislators at the state capitol to oppose this initiative as well.”

“Ohio as a whole, but certainly Eastern Ohio, has seen new businesses created, struggling businesses finding new opportunities and strong economic growth thanks to oil and natural gas industry investments in the Utica Shale play,” Cambridge Area County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joanne (Jo) Sexton said. “Nearly 14,000 Ohio companies play a part in Utica Shale development, which is still new to our state. This industry is facing low commodity prices and must make tough choices about where and how to invest. We need to encourage the industry to stay in Ohio, not create tax policies that makes it more attractive to drill elsewhere. That is why the Cambridge Area County Chamber of Commerce opposes the proposed severance tax increase.”

“Skilled trade unions across Ohio are seeing more work as a result of the oil and natural gas industry,” Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 396 Business Manager Butch Taylor said. “The work being sought for these operations demands well-trained, skilled workers like those throughout the trades. Our Local and many others like ours are seeing more jobs and more opportunity to train Ohioans in skilled trades as a result of the industry’s investment in shale exploration in Ohio. The proposed severance tax increase could drive good-paying jobs for Ohio families out of the state.”

“Our business has increased production and added more employees by providing pipe and other products to oil and gas companies in Ohio,” Ken Miller Supply CEO Jack Miller said. “If these companies slow production, it will impact my business and our employees. The proposed drastic increase in severance tax, will certainly lead to a decrease in demand for the products we make. This will hurt my business, countless other Ohio businesses that have seen growth from the Utica Shale play and hard-working families.

“A tax increase on energy developed in Ohio is a tax on families that will primarily benefit the wealthy,” Stark County Black Caucus President Reverend G. L. Evans said. “Higher utility rates will affect the lives of everyday Ohioans. Families have seen lower utility bills because of Ohio energy production. Those savings make a difference and we should not risk it on an unnecessary tax hike.”


Some of the members of the rapidly growing Protect Ohio Jobs Coalition include:


David A. White, Washington County Commissioner

Ron Feathers, Washington County Commissioner

Rick Walters, Washington County Commissioner

Mayor of the City of Columbiana, Brian Blakeman

Aaron Dodds, Carroll County Economic Development

Pipeliners Union 798

Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown

Youngstown Warren Black Caucus

Mayor City of Marietta, Joe Matthews

Jeffrey L. Ohler, Carroll County Commissioner

Robert E. Wirkner, Carroll County Commissioner

Thomas R. White, Carroll County Commissioner

Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell

Denny Malloy, Jr., Outdoor Icon, LLC, Host Mahoning Valley Shale Show

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 64

Cuyahoga County Councilman Anthony Hairston

Canton City Councilman Greg Hawk

Western Reserve Building & Construction Trades Council

Pyramid Pipeline Inc.

Rob Palowitz, President, PALO Creative

James Milleson, Ohio Acres 4 U


Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce

Broughton Commercial Properties

Stark County Black Caucus

Utican Consulting Inc.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396

Buckeye Water Service Co.

Petroset Cementing Services

Petta Enterprises

Evets Oil and Gas Construction Services

Civil & Environmental Consultants

David Bodo and Associates

Ken Miller Supply

Quality Water Systems

Noble County Chamber of Commerce

Palmer & Son Excavating

Sutton Pump & Supply, Inc.

J. Hawk Water Service LLC

Jerry’s Trucking

D&K Supply Equipment Inc.

Dearing Compressor & Pump