Expert: Energy companies cheating state

John Arthur Smith. New Mexican file photo

Local governments in energy-rich areas of New Mexico are losing millions of dollars in revenue because oil and gas companies aren’t telling county tax officials about thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines and hundreds of compressors, drilling rigs and other equipment, an appraisal expert says.

Jerry L. Wisdom, an Oklahoma native who owns Total Assessment Solutions Corp., which specializes in valuing energy company assets, has done contract work in Rio Arriba, Eddy and Lea counties, pinpointing equipment that should be taxed but is missing from tax rolls.

His appraisers drive thousands of miles on dirt and gravel roads to locate gas pipelines, drilling rigs and other equipment. They then cross-check county records to see of the assets are being reported and properly taxed. Even equipment that is mobile is supposed to be reported as taxable property while it is operating in New Mexico.

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