Monday, January 26, 2015

Commissioners Oppose Governor's Plan to Use Severance Tax

This morning, Mesa County Commissioners joined a press conference on the steps of the Mesa County building.  The press conference included members of the councils of Grand Junction, Palisade and Fruita, representatives of Club 20, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, and many others.  The conference was held to voice opposition to a proposal to use severance tax, rightfully due to  energy impacted counties, to backfill the State’s general fund.

The Commissioners  formalized their comments to the Honorable Kent Lambert, Chair of the Joint Budget Committee, in a letter transmitted today.  The letter states:

"The Mesa County Board of Commissioners, on behalf of the residents of Mesa County, express our strong opposition to the Governor’s proposal to use severance tax, rightfully due to the energy impacted counties, to backfill the State’s general fund.

The Governor needs to learn, like our counties on the Western Slope, to find efficiencies in government to fund state expenses such as Medicaid and TABOR, or any other shortfalls that the State may face.
Mesa County, like other Western Slope counties, has had to tighten our belts in order to provide the core government services our constituents expect during tough economic times. Our economy is not recovering. Mesa County received $1.7 million dollars of severance tax money In 2014. This money goes straight to our general fund to pay for key important core services, including public safety. Raiding this severance tax fund for energy impacted communities is unacceptable.

We are ready to assist the Governor to find efficiencies in State government, as we have had to in our county governments.

We stand united with Colorado Counties, Inc., Club 20, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado and our municipal partners in opposing the Governor’s plan to use severance tax money to backfill the State’s general fund."

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