Letters From the West

Bill would exempt oil and gas wells from taxes

A bill that would exempt oil and gas wells from taxation has been sent to floor of the Idaho House without much fanfare.

A gas flare during a test of a natural gas well near New Plymouth owned by Snake River Oil and Gas.

A gas flare during a test of a natural gas well near New Plymouth owned by Snake River Oil and Gas.

The bill, HB 141, treats oil and gas wells the same as geothermal wells and irrigation wells, at least everywhere but Bonneville County, which taxes irrigation wells. Idaho code is apparently silent on those wells.

The Idaho Petroleum Council brought the legislation to put Idaho in line with other states and with other similar economic activities in Idaho.

“You don’t tax the mine shaft,” said Suzanne Budge, executive director of the Petroleum Council. “You tax what comes out of it.”

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West