Carla Eckels / KMUW

Lower energy prices that are benefiting consumers at gasoline pumps have hit oil- and natural gas-producing counties in western Kansas hard.

It's forcing counties to cut spending or increase property tax levies just as the state is ending an aid program meant to insulate them.

The state Department of Revenue said oil and gas property values declined an average of 52 percent this year. Sixteen western Kansas counties saw their total property values decrease more than 20 percent, hurting their ability to raise local tax revenues.

Kansas and other states that receive taxes from the production of oil and natural gas, could face budgetary challenges as prices fall.

Two taxes are tied to oil and gas prices and production: severance and property taxes.

The severance tax is a state levy on minerals extracted from the ground in Kansas, while property taxes are also collected by the state and most local governments on oil and gas wells.


Although the average gas price in Kansas is only a penny below where it was a month ago, a report from AAA reveals a significant decrease in cost from last year. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more...

Kansas gas prices are 32 cents less than they were a year ago, ranking the state second for year over year declines in gas prices. 

Jim Hanni, spokesperson for AAA, says the price decrease is the result of what was happening at this time last year.

Kansas Gas Prices Jump

Jul 17, 2012
Slworking2 / Flickr

Gas prices in Kansas have been on the rise.

Jim Hanni of AAA Kansas says it’s not because of an uptick in demand. Instead, it’s because of a possible supply problem.

“There are concerns that we may not be able to get oil at the same pace out of the Middle East, and that certainly what’s been driving the increase in gas prices at the pump here now,” says Hanni.

He says that the uncertainty of the Middle Eastern oil supply is affecting the Midwest more than anywhere else in the nation.