Energy company alleges Wetzel County officials violated state law

By Louie Torres | Apr 16, 2018

NEW MARTINSVILLE — A Wetzel County energy company is suing county officials, alleging breach of contract and violation of state and federal law.

NEW MARTINSVILLE — A Wetzel County energy company is suing county officials, alleging breach of contract and violation of state and federal law.

SWN Production Company, LLC filed a complaint March 13 in Wetzel Circuit Court against state Tax Commissioner Dale Steager, Wetzel County assessor Scott Lemley and the County Commission of Wetzel County, alleging they abused their discretion by failing to consider the plaintiff's operational costs for oil and natural gas wells in Wetzel County.

According to the complaint, SWN Production was damaged financially as the result of being charged more for taxes. The plaintiff alleges the defendants acknowledged SWN's operating expenses are correct yet failed to make any adjustment on the tax department's evaluation.

SWN Production seeks declaration that the board of assessment incorrectly upheld the valuation of SWN's Wetzel County gas wells, fix the value of the plaintiff's gas well for the 2017 tax year at $73,911.12, based on the value calculated by applying 56.4 percent of  operating expenses and any further relief the court grants. It is represented by attorneys Craig A. Griffith and John J. Meadows of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Charleston.

Wetzel Circuit Court case number 18-C-21

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