PINEVILLE – An oil and gas company is suing over the state's tax appraisal of its operating expenses.

CNX Gas Co. filed the suit Dec. 17 in Wyoming Circuit Court against West Virginia State Tax Commissioner Mark Matkovich, Wyoming County Assessor Michael E. Cook and the Wyoming County Commission.

The plaintiff's wells are appraised by the West Virginia Department of Revenue, State Tax Department, Property Tax Division.

According to the complaint, the Tax Department periodically circulates a survey to solicit data from oil and natural gas producers regarding operating expenses for their wells. Those expenses are used for the department's mass appraisal system. Furthermore, the well's gross receipts are not to exceed a maximum amount, as determined by the state.

The plaintiff, which owns wells in Wyoming County, protested the defendant's valuation, and the suit says the Tax Department failed to consider its actual operating expenses but there was no adjustment to the valuation.

The suit claims that when the Tax Department valued the plaintiff's gas well values for tax year 2015, it failed to adhere to its own regulations that direct how to consider actual operating expenses. Because the defendant didn't accept the plaintiff's calculation of operating expenses for the wells in Wyoming County, a hearing was held Oct. 21. Ultimately, however, the defendant didn't adjust its calculations.

The plaintiff requests that the court find that the Wyoming County Board of Assessment Appeals incorrectly upheld the valuation of the its gas wells, it fix the value of the gas wells for the 2015 tax year and other such relief as the court deems appropriate. The plaintiff is represented by Craig A. Griffith and John J. Meadows of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC of Charleston.

Wyoming Circuit Court Case number 15-C-237

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