Washington County Chief Tax Appraiser Willy Dilworth says Washington County is among more than 100 Texas counties that are targets of lawsuits from petroleum companies over  the valuations of gas equipment, wit potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake.

Dilworth says there are four lawsuits challenging the valuations of gas processors.  The lawsuits have been filed in the local district courts.

Gas processors in the county are valued at $11 million.  Legislation passed last year has thrown doubt on how those compressors should be classified for taxation purposes.  Petroleum companies says they should be considered special inventory, while appraisal districts have classified them as equipment.

Dilworth says this could mean a substantial difference in taxes.

He says if a compressor is considered equipment, its average value  on a property rolls would be about $70,000.

The issue could eventually go before an Appeals Court at the state level, which might settle the question before any of the local cases go to trial.

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