Low Natural Gas Prices Bad for Business in Stevens County
KSCB News - December 13, 2010 12:00 am
HUGOTON, Kan. (AP) – More than a dozen western Kansas counties
are struggling to balance their budgets after natural gas prices
have plummeted by more than half in the past two years.
One of the hardest-hit counties is Stevens, which gets 81
percent of its revenues from taxes on gas and oil reserves. The
valuations of those reserves dropped by more than $140 million, or
34 percent, in the past year.
The Hutchinson News reports the decline has caused the county to
increase its property tax levy by more than 15 percent, and the
school district to raise its by 30 percent.
Several of the counties say they are fortunate that they beefed
up their reserves during times of record high gas prices to offset
what they are losing now.