Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

More Natural Gas wells falling behind in tax payments

PIERRE, S.D. – State and county officials are closely monitoring a second natural gas drilling operation doing business in South Dakota after not receiving tax payments from the company in two years.

Harding County Auditor Kathy Glines (Ga-LINES) confirmed to the South Dakota Broadcasters Association that her office is working with a second company having failed to pay taxes owed to the county for almost two years.

Earlier, natural gas well exploration company Spyglass fell into receivership and abandoned more than 40 natural gas wells scattered across northwest South Dakota, primarily in Harding County.

Glines says Spyglass owes more than $180,500 in back taxes, penalties and fees.  She says the taxes alone exceed $123,000 which represents, “a sizable amount of money” to local taxpayers in the county.

Senate Bill 17 seeks to appropriate $727,000 from the state general fund to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the purpose of plugging and surface reclaiming the wells.

Glines says the bill, while welcome, would not address the back taxes owed to her county.

She say 90% of the money owed goes to the local school district and abating the taxes from Spyglass would instead spread the debt out over every county tax payer.

Glines says, “it’s no secret we’re not happy with the state for not attacking this faster.”

The second company owing delinquent taxes was working with Harding County Thursday to pay the taxes owed.

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