Oil, gas companies appeal Sublette assessments

PINEDALE (WNE) — Eight oil and gas companies with 38 different property accounts are appealing their 2019 Sublette County tax assessments, setting up the County’s Board of Equalization, comprised of the county’s five commissioners, for a lengthy hearing process.

All appeals are based on the same objection as to how property values on equipment depreciated, which increased values, in some cases more than 90%. The companies want to use a depreciation schedule similar to that used by the Internal Revenue Service based on the equipment’s age — also called a straight-line approach.

Sublette County Assessor Jeness Saxton followed guidelines sent by the State Board of Equalization that direct assessors statewide to take into consideration maintenance on equipment.

The County Board of Equalization has 30 days to set a hearing, and both parties — in this case, the nine companies and Saxton — have 30 days to exchange discovery and fact-finding. The hearing must be concluded and a ruling made before Oct. 1. Throughout the hearing process, the Sublette County Attorney represents the county assessor and is unable to advise the Board of Equalization.

At a special June 18 meeting of the County Board of Equalization, members were advised by Deputy County Clerk Tracey Hoover that tentative protests include Newpark Drilling Fluids, LLC., Jonah Gas Gathering, Ultra Resources, Inc., Omimex Petroleum, Inc., Mustang Resources, Inc., Foundation Energy Management, Urban Oil & Group and HilCorp Energy.

According to the appeal filed by Jonah, the company is requesting a value adjustment based on obsolescence and a 57-percent usage of the equipment.


WBC backs $9 million loan for Cheyenne  manufacturing plant

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Plans to develop a $17.8 million manufacturing plant in Cheyenne are moving forward.

The Wyoming Business Council board on Thursday recommended the state approve a $9.35 million loan for the construction of an 80,000-square-foot biomedical facility on the city’s east side.

The loan, funded through the state’s Economic Development Large Project program, is still subject to State Loan and Investment Board review and governor approval.

Owners of California-based Innovive, a company registered as WYTEC locally, are working with economic development groups to design and build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in the Cheyenne Business Parkway within two years. Cheyenne LEADS, which owns the business park, would sell the acreage to WYTEC.

The company specializes in disposable caging products for laboratory rodents used in medical research. Traditionally, these animals are housed in thick plastic containers that require regular sterilization, but Innovive CEO Dee Conger told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in February this method is expensive and time-consuming.


Commissioners’ letter to delegation addresses impacts of ‘war on coal’

GREEN RIVER (WNE) — A letter addressed to Wyoming’s congressional delegation and signed by four Sweetwater County Commissioners addresses impacts the commissioners allege are a result of a war on coal usage.

The letter comes after news that Rocky Mountain Power plans to deactivate four power-generating units at two Wyoming power plants, including two at the Jim Bridger Power Plant.

Wally Johnson, chairman of the Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners, said the letter was inspired by decisions made that will impact the county, state and nation. He said decision makers can’t sit idly by as those decisions are made and hopes the letter will spur a response and action from the congressional delegation.

The letter both highlights impacts faced locally due to decreased coal demand, as well as impacts that would be felt nationally. The letter argues the ability to reliably and affordably generate electricity is threatened as coal loses prominence in the power generation mix.


From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers