GREAT FALLS (AP)
The state Department of Revenue has released details of how a nearly $1.8 million in back taxes due from several Shelby oil and gas companies will be shared among the state and counties involved. Revenue Director Dan Bucks said William F. Fulton, Fulton Fuel Co. And other affiliates agreed to a $1,792,000 settlement in June. An initial payment of $1.4 million was made on July 31 and the remaining $392,000 is due by Jan. 26. Bucks said the settlement represents the full amount of unpaid taxes, penalties and interest through May 23, 2007. Toole County, of which Shelby is the county seat, was owed the most back taxes. County c ommi s s i one r s approved a separate settlement, totaling $1.2 million to be paid over several years, with Fulton and his companies in June 2006. Toole County Commissioner Allan Underdal said the settlement included immediate payment of $700,000, representing all of the back taxes owed. In addition, Fulton and the companies agreed to pay Toole County $500,000 in interest and penalties through five annual payments of $100,000, starting in January. Toole County settled earlier because commissioners wanted to get a substantial payment immediately and were uncertain when the other lawsuit might be settled, Underdal said. The state Department of Revenue filed a lawsuit in January 2007 seeking to collect the back taxes after the companies failed to pay taxes under settlement agreements reached in 1998. Some of the unpaid Taxes date back nearly 20 years. Although Toole County settled separately, state law required that it also receive a portion of the state taxes paid, said Deputy Revenue Director Dave Hunter. Liberty County will receive $502,931 of the initial $1.4 million. The state of Montana will receive $320,792, followed by Toole County, $269,810; Pondera County, $204,121; Teton County, $83,394; Glacier County, $11,036; and Blaine County, $7,917.