Assessor's offices identifying pipeline worker campsites

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WOOD COUNTY, W.Va.-(WTAP) Assessor's offices across West Virginia are busy locating campsites largely housing people working on pipeline construction projects.

David Nohe says at least three such sites are located in Wood County.

State law says all people residing in the state as of July 1 have to report taxable personal property for the coming year.

That involves the value of trailers located at those campsites, and rent the owners get from them.

In order to set up a campground, property owners need clearance from the health department, as well as a permit from the county's compliance office.

"And that gives us our strongest lead to look at these campgrounds to see how many spaces they have, and how they are rented," Assessor Nohe explains. "We find out the approximate income from those, and convert that to income for tax dollars."

Nohe says he has noticed campers with license plates from as far away as Texas, an indication of pipeline construction activity in the area.

He says the owners will not actually be taxed for that property until 2020.

While the assessments will provide income for counties, in a manner similar to West Virginia's coal severance tax, that income could be short-lived.

That's because once the pipeline projects are completed, the workers are expected to move on.