Since the shale boom has come to our area, our truck traffic has increased; creating more wear and tear to roads. Our police departments have had to deal with heightened calls regarding issues involving out-of-state workers. Our rental rates have seen increases as well.
House Bill 375 proposes the lowest rates and most generous provisions for the oil and gas industry of three severance tax proposals considered in Ohio during the past year. It is also one of the lowest in the country.
Columbiana County, being the third-most drilled in the state, needs to see more of the revenue than this bill is providing. We need to see more of this money coming back to our county to deal with these issues.
The other issue is the amount of tax. The governor's proposed rate is 2.75 percent. We need to be comparable with the Texas version. Its rate is at 7.5 percent of market value of gas, and Condensate Production Tax is 4.6 percent of market value of gas.
The oil and gas industry says that if we raise the tax they will not drill here. This is just a ploy because they want our shale gas, and it is not going anywhere. We need to keep them accountable and make sure the revenues come to us.