The NEXUS pipeline has promised Wood County $22,786,432 in total tax receipts over five years. The glowing assessment would be wonderful if not for the glaring truth: Nexus doesn’t pay its required taxes or fees to compensate for the auditor’s services. Ohio Law 319.54 states:
(C) From all moneys collected by the county treasurer on any tax duplicate of the county, other than estate tax duplicates, and on all moneys received as advance payments of personal property and classified property taxes, there shall be paid into the county treasury to the credit of the real estate assessment fund created by section 325.31 of the Revised Code, an amount to be determined by the county auditor, which shall not exceed the percentages prescribed in divisions (C)(1) and (2) of this section.
(p) Of an easement or right-of-way when the value of the interest conveyed does not exceed one thousand dollars;
Sad truth is many of the Ohio counties along the NEXUS pipeline have not paid these easement conveyance fees. The Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CoRN) has looked at counties along the NEXUS pipeline route and had found four that are compliant with Ohio law. Current law requires a $3 to $4 per $1000 fee on easements over $1000. $1 of every $1000 goes to the state. Four counties include Summit, Stark, Wood and Lorain are paying some conveyance fees to the Auditor. So far we found Medina, Erie and Fulton counties that were not collecting these fees back in February.
Summit and Stark counties were not being paid all fees, requiring further investigation. Two Ohio DT 100EX forms are required by the auditors office. One is an exemption form (Statement of Reason for Exemption From Real Property Conveyance Fee) and the other (Real Property Conveyance Fee Statement of Value and receipt) declaring by penalties of perjury the value of said easement is either less that $1000 or over $1000 including the $4 per $1000 fee. No other documentation of value is required leaving no proof of compliance. Your Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen has stated that Nexus is filing with his office but has no way of proving they are paying the required fees in full. In Fulton county Auditor Brent Kolb was unaware of the law and only now has alerted NEXUS to file. We heard that NEXUS has filed two Exemption From Real Property Conveyance Fee forms declaring under perjury that the value of these easements are less than $1000. I don’t think I’ve heard of any easement of less than $1000 in value. Through these two counties runs the Rover and Utopia pipelines. Are they paying the required fees? Some of these easements are for over $1 Million in value, that’s $4000 in possible unpaid taxes to Wood and Fulton counties on one easement. There are hundreds of these easements. Are the pipeline companies paying their full share? Are they being held criminally responsible? Will they ever paid what the law requires? With rising taxes on real estate I cannot simply not pay my taxes without penalty. What makes them above the law?
Ottawa Lake, Michigan