Harrison, Doddridge bring in millions in oil/gas property taxes

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Harrison and Doddridge finished among the top five counties in the state that generated the largest amount of oil and gas property taxes for 2017.

Property taxes on oil and natural gas production will provide just over $96 million to county governments in the state, according to a press release from the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association.

The data from the West Virginia Division of Tax & Revenue shows that Doddridge County collected $15,165,626, second in the state just behind Wetzel County.

Harrison County finished two slots behind, raking in $8,846,064.

"North central West Virginia, which is the predominant production area in the state, receives tremendous benefit, in the form of property tax revenue from oil and gas production," said Anne Blankenship, Executive Director of the WVONGA.

Ron Watson, president of the Harrison County Commission, says about 70 percent of the revenue collected will go towards the local school system.

"The rest comes into the counties and the cities," Watson said. "With what we get, we then put it over into our capital improvement fund."

The capital improvement fund supports projects like the planned judicial annex and the new 911 center.

Watson said the taxes can also help offset regional jail bills, which have amounted to nearly $2 million in Harrison County.

Oil and natural gas property tax revenue also funds vital community services.

In Doddridge County, the money, in part, helped fund a new library, as well as renovations to the county courthouse.

The county totals from highest to lowest in north central West Virginia are as follows:

Wetzel: $15,375,578
Doddridge: $15,165,626
Harrison: $8,846,064
Ritchie: $5,993,762
Tyler: $5,263,545
Marion: $3,298,952
Taylor: $1,273,297
Upshur: $820,570
Lewis: $832,084
Monongalia: $749,727
Preston: $207,925
Randolph: $114,559