Tax on gas wells goes unchecked by state agencies
Posted February 10, 2012 in Press Releases
As Ohio prepares to usher in a multibillion-dollar gas drilling industry, it is relying on an honor system with well owners for the purpose of collecting taxes and fees, and the numbers don’t add up.
Well owners are required to report the amount of natural gas they “sever” from the Earth and file severance tax returns each quarter.
But an examination of production numbers by the NewsOutlet, a collaboration of journalism programs at Youngstown State, Kent State and the University of Akron, raises questions about their reliability, and no one has an explanation for the disparities.
From 2000 through 2009, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, which represents the industry, reported more natural gas production than did the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the agency responsible for regulating wells.
The variations were wide, with ODNR’s annual production numbers 3 percent to 15 percent below those of the association.
In 2010, it was the opposite: ODNR reported more production than did the association.
And an analysis of severance taxes collected by a third source