Plugged Well?

If a well has been plugged since 1944, would that imply that there were no taxes due on those mineral rights because there was zero income?

Stephanie, if you own mineral rights, the county will come for you for state, county, school, Dodd co Library , park and other taxes, no matter if well is plugged or not, It's called Property taxes. I pay close to $1000.00 a year for owning Mineral rights and I'am sure people on this forum pay a lot more than that.


I have paid a pittance in taxes on the stuff we knew we owned because that is what someone was getting away with paying us on wells that my mother owned. I am certainly jealous! $1000.00 a year in taxes is something!! =)

I am just wondering that if there is zero revenue, does that mean we may not be behind in the taxes on those rights? I don't want to pay someone to do research on something that was probably sold at auction in 1974. The well was plugged in 1944. So, obviously, there isn't any income from it. The assumption may be that it is worthless, therefore, not taxable? Does that make my question clearer?

I would assume, that you are only taxed on money you make? That is why I ask?

It seems to me, and your comment confirms it. That mineral rights are taxed for their lease value. If they aren't leased, do they have value? If not, can they be taxed?

This particular situation isn't in Doddridge County. The other county doesn't have any activity on that page.


I am on my phone now but tomorrow I can sand the info I have from the state on how they determine county assessment. The assessment is multiplied by the county’s property tax rate to determine the taxes. For properties with oil and/or gas production, the amount paid by the producer to each royalty owner is reported to the state property tax department, for each well, by API number. The state reports to each county assessor’s office and is somehow used to calculate the tax on each property for each royalty owner. The assessor’s office keeps track of which API goes with each property with a producing (maybe also for nonproducing) wells. Sometimes they have incorrect information on which well is where but usually it is right. For non producing mineral rights tracts there is a formula related to the number of acres and the owner’s interest. For example, a 24 acre tract and you have 1/2 OGM or minerals or whatever term the county uses. Sometimes the county just taxes production from a well instead of a tract. If you also own surface, there is an additional calculation of improvements such as a house. Stephanie P, if you own the mineral rights and there is only a plugged well, I expect the tax rate would be for non producing according to that formula. There is a minimum assessment, I think $100, even if the acreage calculation would yield a smaller amount. Whether you lost something in a tax sale would have to be researched. Somewhere there is a link for Tyler county deeds, including at least an index going back to the early 1800s. If you need that I can post a link tomorrow. If yours is a case, like so many, of your ancestor selling the surface and retaining minerals, and over the years, with no production or after it ends with the well plugged, and grandpa dies and he forgot he owned those minerals, and nobody sent a change of address for he taxes, the minerals might be sold. However if the assessor forgot to record the transfer of he surface with minerals retained and still owned by grandpa, so that nobody gets the tax bill then all is OK. Sorry for the long long post, and I am not going to proofread it. Too hard to do with the phone.

Here is what I have about how the state calculates the value of a non-producing property:

If there is no production on a royalty property, the State Tax Department puts a “reserve” value on it. They calculate this as follows: acreage for O&G x $20 + $1 per acre for Minerals. They then take 60% of this figure and divide that amount by whatever interest you own. The system always rounds up. If after using this formula, the value is less than $100, then it is valued at a minimum of $100.

Nancy, this give me hope. I will look into it once I get the big fish I have to fry done with the lawyer for now. =( I just wish folks had not let this stuff "die".

Maybe they didn't know they had anything. Or forgot. At least WV taxes minerals (when it is done right). In some states (Oklahoma for example) they don't tax non-producing property which saves the tax dollars but makes it even harder to search for what your ancestor "might" have owned.

Back to the plugged well, if you have a plat from Seneca Technologies (or from the Batch download link) you can find some info on royalty and surface owners which might help in figuring out who might be listed as current owners (of royalty/minerals and surface).