Property owners already pay taxes on royalties from oil, gas production

April 28, 2013 at 3:02 p.m.
Updated April 27, 2013 at 11:28 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

As a property and royalty owner in DeWitt County, I feel compelled to respond to the letter written by David Brown that appeared in Tuesday's paper. The writer seems to believe that the much-needed road repairs in the Eagle Ford Shale area should not be financed by state or county funding but by the royalty owners who are reaping a "windfall of money" from oil and gas production. Readers need to remember what all of us should have learned in school - government has no money. Government's money comes from each of us by way of things called taxes. Our government uses our money to provide services that benefit all of us.

Perhaps Mr. Brown is unaware of the fact that the oil companies and royalty owners in this area contribute greatly to our government by means of the taxes they are assessed. Oil companies pay taxes on all of their production, and each royalty owner has taxes withheld from every royalty payment. In DeWitt County, royalty owners are assessed additional taxes on their production payments. This amounts to quite a large sum of money that various government entities receive each year; some of which should rightly be used for the repair and maintenance of our roads.

I would also like to address an issue raised by Mr. Brown that I find personally offensive. Concerning my royalty money, he states that I "did not do anything to earn it." Perhaps he needs to be informed that mineral rights can be a part of a land purchase, making them something that is bought. It wasn't simply luck that enabled my family to afford to buy land that included mineral rights. It was two things: hard work and sacrifice. These two things enabled my family to earn the money necessary to purchase land along with its mineral rights. We now own a commodity that oil companies desire to buy. Isn't it amazing what hard work and sacrifice can do? Do not ever tell me that my royalty payments are simply the result of a game of chance.

Carlea Hahn, Yorktown



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