- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) says he foresees a ballot measure emerging if his latest effort to raise taxes on oil-and-gas drillers fails to get through the Legislature.

Kasich predicted at a news conference Friday that a citizen group or aspiring politician would spearhead the effort and seek rates even higher than he has proposed.

Kasich’s current budget proposal calls for a fixed rate on crude oil and natural gas of 6.5 percent at the wellhead, and a lower 4.5 percent for natural gas and natural gas liquids sold downstream.

Kasich said a ballot campaign would probably push a 10-percent rate with earmark proceeds for something popular with voters. Proceeds of his tax would go to income-tax reductions.

The industry says tax increases would kill momentum and cost jobs.

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