Property Taxes From Gas & Oil Are Rolling Into Belmont County


In six counties, those property taxes totaled $43 million since 2011.

And Belmont County is in that six-county area.

But it’s still not the windfall it might seem.

In 2012, officials say Belmont County got only $5900 in property tax money.

By 2015, they got $3.8 million.

That’s a huge jump, and everyone says it’s a good thing.

But it’s not necessarily helping every city, township and school district across the board.

Sixty-five percent of property taxes go to schools.

That sounds like a blessing for ailing school districts.

But it all depends on where the wells are located.

“As far as oil wells go, we do not have any in our district that are extracting anything, so we are not bringing in any increased revenue from that,” said Zac Shutler, Bridgeport Schools Superintendent.

County Commission President Mark Thomas says any tax revenue is a good thing.

But he says the county doesn’t actually see much of it.

“We do get a small piece of that real estate portion, but only about one to two percent,” Thomas noted. “But every little bit helps.”

“Not every political subdivision will receive gas and oil funding because it depends on where the gas and oil is being extracted,” explained Andy Sutak, Belmont County auditor. “Some of your cities will not see a penny. Some of your villages will not see a penny.”

There’s a two-year time lag between when the money is made and when the tax money rolls in.

Even then, it isn’t all “mad money” or pure profit.

“There are a lot of costs associated with having the industries here,” said Larry Merry, Belmont County Port Authority director. “So it’s not all extra money that comes here. There’s actually services provided by the governmental entities.”

But it is very good for some.

“If they have gas and oil that’s being extracted in their taxing district, it can go to roads, police, fire, whatever their levies are for,” said Sutak.

Everyone has a wish list.

For the port authority director, it’s infrastructure.

“I’m a firm believer in ‘Build It And They Will Come,’ ” said Larry Merry. “And that’s what really we’re all needing– more jobs and more income coming into the community, to be spread around the community.”

“With growth comes commerce, with commerce comes jobs and everything flows from that,” concluded Mark Thomas.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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