Mesa County revenues plunge with oil and gas bust

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Mesa County revenues have taken a hit as oil and gas revenues plunged.

Millions of dollars have been lost from property and severance tax revenues.

Severance tax is expected to decrease 63 percent this year and a total of 75 percent from 2015 to 2017.

County Administrator Frank Whidden said the county knows oil and gas is a boom and bust industry, so the key is to try and diversify the economy to have steady revenue.

Mesa County reported that as of June, oil and gas sales tax was down 71.4 percent for the year. The property tax for oil and gas is also expected to decrease by 68.53 percent by 2017.

Whidden said that under Tabor restrictions, there is only so much the county can do to increase revenue.

"Where we'll try to make reductions is where it would have the least impact on the public,” said Whidden. "It means that we've got to start prioritizing the services that we render, and ask really tough questions. If we have to reduce services, where are those cuts going to be made?"

The County Administrator said many people and organizations continue to work on multiple projects to help bring more revenue to the Grand Valley economy. Another option is for the county is potentially raising sales tax.

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