WHEELING – An oil and natural gas production company with 94 wells in Ohio County alleges the state tax department abused its discretion by failing to consider operating expenses when calculating the value of its wells for the 2017 tax year.

SWN Production Co. LLC filed a complaint Nov. 14 in Ohio Circuit Court against State Tax Commissioner Dale Steager, Ohio County Assessor Tiffany Hoffman and The County Commission of Ohio County challenging the tax value of the wells.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the tax department overvalued its wells and "did not asses them at their true and actual value." It alleges it presented "clear and convincing evidence" that the department failed to consider its actual operating expense when valuing the wells in Ohio County, but the Ohio County Board of Assessment Appeals did not change the valuation.

The plaintiff seeks to fix the value of its gas wells in Ohio County for the 2017 tax year at $228,387,639 based on the value calculated by applying SWN's 56.4 percent operating expense percentage and any further relief this court grants. It is represented by Craig A. Griffth and John J. Meadows of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James Mazzone.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 17-C-319

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