Western Colorado county braces for drop in energy tax revenue
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” Garfield County’s total assessed valuation skyrocketed as energy development boomed, but county officials are bracing for a big falloff as the boom contracts.
Energy companies have curtailed operations as the recession has worsened and natural gas prices have plunged. The county anticipates a big drop in revenue in 2011 because of a two-year lag between gas production and the taxes paid on it.
Property tax accounts for a third of the county’s revenue, and two-thirds of that comes from the oil and gas industry. Garfield County budget analyst Theresa Wagenman projects revenue falling from $93.5 million in 2010 to $76.7 million in 2011.
The county in western Colorado has led the state in the number of drilling permits approved.