DeBeque takes worst hit in severance taxes |

DeBeque takes worst hit in severance taxes

Heidi RiceWestern Garfield County Correspondent

Rifle, Grand Junction and DeBeque were the big losers in the region in the annual severance tax distribution this year – all with significant decreases in 2005 over 2004.According to an analysis reported by the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, Rifle was down 475 employees in 2005 and saw a decrease of more than $1.2 million in compensation this year compared to last. The city was credited with 564 full-time energy-related employees in 2004 and a check for $1.67 million.In 2005, the city was credited with 91 energy employees and a $441,262 check – a 74 percent decrease in funds.Grand Junction was reported as being down 349 employees from 2004 to 2005 and received a check of $453,000, or 24 percent, less than what it saw in 2004.DeBeque took the worst hit with no energy employees reported at all and a loss of the $62,000 it saw last year.Garfield County saw a reported decrease of 476 employees, from 900 in 2004 to 424 in 2005. The county’s portion of the severance tax went from $2.7 million in 2004 to $2.1 in 2005.Although Mesa County had a reported decline of 262 employees, its severance tax rose from $2.4 million in 2004 to $2.75 in 2005.The state of Colorado as a whole received $10.4 million in 2005 over $2.9 in 2004.Severance tax payments were increased from $3,000 per head in 2004 to $5,000 in 2005.

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