Officials Face Tough Questions on Property Taxes

By Marie Price The Journal Record | THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

Officials Face Tough Questions on Property Taxes


Marie Price The Journal Record, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Oil and gas equipment not used in production is subject to taxation as personal property, but some industry officials believe that county assessors have been too aggressive in how they value these compressors, plants, meters, pumpjacks and the like.

State Rep. Larry Rice, D-Pryor, told the House Revenue and Taxation Committee that some energy company representatives also question how the visual inspection of their property is being carried out in some counties.

"These are all tough questions, tough issues," said Rice, who is heading an interim study of the problem.

Wade Patterson, Garfield County assessor, explained how his county utilizes global positioning system and geographic information system data to find and map oil and gas property.

After a 1997 court case mandated that gas gathering system property be locally rather than centrally assessed, said Patterson, the duty fell to county assessors to value and assess such equipment.

"We didn't ask for jurisdiction," he said.

Patterson said that assessors wanted an updatable, user-friendly graphic information system database they could use to inventory, map and equitably assess oil and gas properties. With proper valuation, he said, schools and other recipients of ad valorem tax revenues could receive the amounts they were due.

Not only does a graphic information system-based system save time and effort, Patterson said, it is geographically correct and makes it much easier to locate and value this equipment, much of which is underground. …

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