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Informational Session on Oil, Gas Taxation Is Scheduled for Oct. 26 at City-County Building in Wheeling

A public hearing to better inform owners of oil and gas producing properties in West Virginia how these lands now will be taxed is set for Wheeling next week.

Ohio County commissioners have organized the session, set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 in Wheeling City Council chambers. Local state lawmakers have been invited to attend and shed light on new taxation laws, according to County Administrator Randy Russell.

He explained during the regular legislative session early this year, members passed a law mandating the state commissioner to modify valuations on properties producing oil and natural gas liquids.

Deputy Tax Commissioner Erin Winter will give a presentation on the new legislation at the start of the hearing. Currently taxation is based on a three-year average of oil or gas production on these properties, Russell explained. The new law eliminates the three-year average calculation.

In addition, it also allows taxpayers to take protests of their tax bill directly to the state level and the State Office of Tax Appeals, he said.

Russell expects a crowd will turn out for the hearing.

“There are a lot of people interested,” he said. “No one has ever been really clear on how they calculate tax on oil and gas taxes.”

Presently land owners who have any disputes about their property valuations take their concerns before the Ohio County Board of Review, and county commissioners sit in on these hearings.

“The commissioners hear their concerns, and make decisions and modifications,” Russell said. “But their ability on oil and gas valuations is limited. The state has always calculated oil and gas valuations.”

He said the public is welcome to come and listen to the proceedings.

“Hopefully, we all will get a better understanding of the entire process,” he said.

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