A new report from an industry group finds Illinois oil and natural-gas producing counties collected more than $89 million in property taxes on state oil and natural gas reserves from 2007 through 2017 - and that Crawford County, still with the state's third-highest oil production, is a big contributor to that total.
The Illinois Petroleum Resources Board report, "Illinois Oil and Natural Gas Property Tax Payments 2007-2017," is based on county-level property tax revenue data posted on the Illinois Department of Revenue website.
The IPRB estimates that at least $44.5 million of that revenue went to fund public education in producing counties, based on the fact that at least half of Illinois oil and natural gas reserve property-tax revenues go to fund public education. The remaining revenues stay local, going to fund various local public services, including fire departments, local hospital districts, public library districts, park districts, county governments and townships.
"Illinois oil and natural gas producers continue to pump important revenues into local coffers, and the industry is a particularly important source of public education funding in producing counties," IPRB Executive Director Seth Whitehead said. "The millions in revenue generated for public education during the report period was all the more significant considering it came during a time in which there were significant state-level funding shortfalls in Illinois."
Crawford County had the state's third-highest oil production, more than 776,000 barrels. From 2007 through 2017, the county's property-tax revenue from oil production was more than $5.27 million. The IPRB "conservatively estimates" that at least $2.63 million of that revenue primarily went to help fund the county's four school districts.
Lawrence County was the fourth-highest oil producer in the state in 2018, also around 776,000 barrels. From 2007 through 2017, the county's oil production generated nearly $6.4 million in property-tax revenue, with IPRB estimating at least $3.19 million of that went to the county's two school districts.
Clark County produced the 11th-most oil in the state in 2018, more than 231,000 barrels. From 2007 through 2017, oil production there raised more than $542,000 in revenue, with an estimated $271,000 going to the county's three school districts.
Jasper County produced more than 216,000 barrels of oil in 2018, 12th-most in the state. From 2007 through 2017, oil production generated more than $2.29 million in revenue and an estimated $1.14 million went to the county's primary school district, Jasper County Unit 1.
For the entire state, the numbers are:
Illinois oil and gas reserve property taxes collected, 2007-2017: $89 million
Amount of that revenue that went to schools in producing counties: $44.5 million
Top 15 producing counties' oil and gas property tax revenue: $79 million
Amount that went to fund schools in the top 15 producing counties: $39.5 million
Eighty-nine percent of the total $89 million in property tax revenue generated by oil and natural gas reserves was generated in the state's top 15 producing counties, according to IPRB. The group conservatively estimates that at least $39.5 million in property-tax revenue generated by oil and gas reserves in Illinois' top 15 producing counties went to fund public education in those counties.
The report notes that 90 percent of Illinois' oil production occurs in these top 15 producing counties, which collectively have just two percent of the state's population.ation. All but one of those 15 counties (Crawford) has a poverty rate above the national average, further illustrating the importance of these revenue streams to fund public education and local public services.
The IPRB is a non-profit organization that provides public awareness and education programs regarding the upstream Illinois oil and gas industry. IPRB also works to clean up and restore abandoned oilfield sites throughout the state. Its programs are funded entirely by voluntary contributions of oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners in Illinois.