April 15, 2015 | Press Release
Charleston, WV – Local governments in five Northern Panhandle cities and counties received more than $3.8 million in gas severance taxes distributed in 2014, according to an analysis of October 2014 tax distributions through the State Treasurer’s Office. The local funds are used to support vital public services – everything from local emergency responders, community projects and social programs. Statewide, more than $13 million was distributed to cities and counties.
The local county totals from highest to lowest are: Wetzel County $1,666,244.49, Marshall County $1,114,206.85, Ohio County $680,626.15, Brooke County $342,633.48and Hancock County $55,827.45. Cities in the Panhandle also received severance tax distributions. Wheeling led the way with $51,271.91, followed by Moundsville$16,935.55, New Martinsville $9,752.74, and Weirton $7,304.56.
Bob Gorby, President of Wetzel County Commission, said, “Six or seven years ago, Wetzel County was classified as a depressed county. With the additional resources made available by the gas industry severance tax revenue, we are able to provide additional services to Wetzel County Citizens. As a result, we are no longer listed as a depressed county.”
“These numbers represent just one small part of the natural gas industry’s impact in this region,” said Corky DeMarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association. “The industry’s impact can be felt through the thousands of good paying jobs, support for local businesses and increase in mineral property values.”
Statewide, the West Virginia natural gas industry paid more than $188.3 million in oil and natural gas severance taxes in fiscal year 2014, more than double the $79.2million paid in 2013. The increase is a direct result of increased production in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, which are estimated to contain more than 100 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.
“The more than doubling of the natural gas severance receipts – in just one year – helped the State of West Virginia balance its 2014 budget and provides needed revenue to county and city governments,” said DeMarco.
According to DeMarco, ninety percent (90%) of the natural gas severance taxes collected are allocated to the State. The remaining ten percent is distributed two ways – 75 percent is dispersed to gas-producing counties, and the other 25 percent is distributed to all counties and municipalities.
For more information, please contact:
President, WV Oil & Natural Gas Association