Facing down drillers in boulder county, cities explore tax on impacts – longmont times-call la gasolina in english

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It could be a tax on trucks, with revenue going toward mitigating additional wear-and-tear from industry traffic. Or a similar levy on usage of water or electricity, or changes to air quality. A tax is preferable over a fee, Carr argued, because, legally, fees must be tied directly to impacts, whereas taxes offer a bit more flexibility.

A local separation tax, if approved, would be the first of its kind in Colorado, Carr said. A spokesperson for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission tentatively confirmed that, saying he was "not aware of any local governments in Colorado that have their own version of a severance tax."

Drillers in Colorado already pay the state a severance tax, which in 2015-2016 brought in $67 million to the state. But operators are allowed to recoup property tax via credits against the severance tax, reducing their contributions significantly.

The Denver Post reported in January that Colorado’s effective severance tax rate ranked second-lowest among Western oil-producing states, at 1.7 percent. Including state and local taxes, Colorado drillers and miners pay an effective 5.2 percent tax.

Industry group Colorado Oil and Gas Association — which had a representative at Tuesday’s meeting, though he did not speak — declined to comment on the issue other than to say it was "reviewing and discussing the possible ballot measures (and) will continue to engage on these and other local issues being considered."

The move is the latest in local pushback to planned development. Lafayette is operating under an extended six-month moratorium, now expiring in August. Longmont earlier this month gave a preliminary OK to pay $3 million to two companies to end drilling in city limits. A final vote is expected Tuesday.

It could be a tax on trucks, with revenue going toward mitigating additional wear-and-tear from industry traffic. Or a similar levy on usage of water or electricity, or changes to air quality. A tax is preferable over a fee, Carr argued, because, legally, fees must be tied directly to impacts, whereas taxes offer a bit more flexibility.

A local separation tax, if approved, would be the first of its kind in Colorado, Carr said. A spokesperson for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission tentatively confirmed that, saying he was "not aware of any local governments in Colorado that have their own version of a severance tax."

Drillers in Colorado already pay the state a severance tax, which in 2015-2016 brought in $67 million to the state. But operators are allowed to recoup property tax via credits against the severance tax, reducing their contributions significantly.

The Denver Post reported in January that Colorado’s effective severance tax rate ranked second-lowest among Western oil-producing states, at 1.7 percent. Including state and local taxes, Colorado drillers and miners pay an effective 5.2 percent tax.

Industry group Colorado Oil and Gas Association — which had a representative at Tuesday’s meeting, though he did not speak — declined to comment on the issue other than to say it was "reviewing and discussing the possible ballot measures (and) will continue to engage on these and other local issues being considered."

The move is the latest in local pushback to planned development. Lafayette is operating under an extended six-month moratorium, now expiring in August. Longmont earlier this month gave a preliminary OK to pay $3 million to two companies to end drilling in city limits. A final vote is expected Tuesday.