The past four years have seen a world of change in eastern Ohio. With the ongoing development of oil and gas in the region, some of the most historically impoverished counties in the region and the state have begun to experience a significant increase in investment. The corridor stretching from Carroll County to Noble County is the prime development area with 83% of the Utica/Point Pleasant drilling permits issues by ODNR in this six-county region (as of April 25, 2015 – Carroll, Harrison, Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe and Noble).
The recent decrease in oil prices and current low cost of natural gas is cause for concern with local residents and leaders who are hoping for a continued drilling boom. However, even with a potential drop in drilling, the region is likely to see a continued short-term increase in production as midstream infrastructure and pipelines continue to come online.
The drilling activity has been occurring long enough to see some patterns in a variety of local/regional governmental receipts. Consider the following statistics concerning Noble County and the six surrounding counties (Morgan, Muskingum, Guernsey, Belmont, Monroe and Washington).
Lodging tax receipts in the region increased from $1.8M in 2010 to $2.9M in 2013. Revenues increased by 19.2% between 2010 and 2011 and an additional 33.9% between 2011 and 2012. These figures do not include any values from Noble or Monroe counties which did not have a lodging tax in that time period.
Within the region, sales tax receipts increased from $30.9M in 2010 to $48.1 M in 2014. Annual increases were 5% from 2010 to 2011, 11% from 2011 to 2012, 12% from 2012 to 2013, and 19% from 2013 to 2014. Belmont increased by 56% between 2010 and 2014, Guernsey by 68%, Monroe by 105%, Morgan by 40%, Noble by 141% and Washington by 32%. The largest dollar increase was in Belmont County from $11.3M to $17.7 M. In Noble County, sales tax receipts increased by 0% between 2010 and 2011, 21% between 2011 and 2012, 56% between 2012 and 2013 and 29% between 2013 and 2014. Dollar increase in Noble County was from $1.1M in 2010 to $2.7M in 2014.
Noble County General Fund:
The general fund balance in Noble County increased from $3.5M in 2010 to $5.8M in 2014. By year, the increase was 7% between 2010 and 2011, a decline of 3% between 2011 and 2012, an increase of 26% between 2012 and 2013 and an increase of 27% between 2013 and 2014.
Noble County Recorder’s Fees:
Recorder’s office receipts as well as sales tax receipts are component parts of the general fund. Recorder’s receipts increased from $4,944 in 2010 to $397,160 in 2014. Annually receipts increased by 3,054% between 2010 and 2011, by 126% between 2011 and 2012, declined by 3% between 2012 and 2013 and increased again by 16% between 2013 and 2014.
Banking Deposits in Noble County:
In addition to these government receipts, banking deposit activity in Noble County was also robust in this time period. Deposits in the county increased from $151M in 2010 to $226M in 2014. Annual increases were 3% between 2010 and 2011, 19% between 2012 and 2013, 19% again between 2012 and 2013 and 3% from 2013 to 2014.
(Submitted by Mike Lloyd, Assistant Professor, County Extension Educator and County Extension Director, Noble County & Buckeye Hills EERA)
Note: Mike will be retiring from OSU Extension on June 30. The impact of his work in Noble County and throughout Ohio has been significant. Extension is pleased that the Noble County Commissioners have continued the partnership and funded the position that will enable this high-value work to continue.