Counties Asking For Clarification On Mineral Taxes

Grand Junction (AP) Officials with Mesa County say they've been rebuffed in their attempt to see how the state decides where to funnel mineral severance taxes. Last year, severance taxes to Colorado governments totaled $90 million dollars and are expected to jump to around $120 million dollars.

15% goes to local governments to pay for the impacts of oil and gas industry employees. The Colorado Department of Revenue determines where the money goes based on where the employees live. Mesa County filed a request for state records under the Freedom of Information Act to ensure the state is being consistent in how it counts employees. The request was denied.

Mesa County Commissioners say they raised the question about equity after being alerted by energy support company Halliburton about how its employees are reported.

In 2003 , Halliburton reported 240 employees in Mesa County, but Commissioner Craig Meis says the revenue department accepted 182 for the severance–tax formula. Meis says that last year Halliburton submitted the names of 345 employees and the state accepted 65.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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