Charleston Gazette-Mail – While West Virginians are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to figure out if their kids can attend school, the oil and gas industry is working with the West Virginia State Tax Department to cut its property taxes by as much as $62 million per year. Read full article.
Last month, the state tax department released a draft rule change on how oil and gas personal property is appraised and taxed. The proposed rule mirrors the wishes of the oil and gas industry and, if implemented, would force either cuts in local government services (e.g. public safety and schools) or shift more of the tax responsibilities onto residents and other businesses.
The proposed rule was drafted in response to a recent state Supreme Court decision concerning the deductions for operating expenses oil and gas companies can take against their property taxes. Currently, the maximum (post-production) operating expenses oil and gas operators can varies by type of well. For horizontal Marcellus gas wells, it is 20% of gross receipts, capped at $175,000.
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