Severance Taxes on the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Colorado Ballot Measure - Amendment 58

Election: General Nov. 4, 2008 (General)

Outcome: Failed


Higher Education
Oil and Gas
Animals and Wildlife


Amendment 58 proposes changing the Colorado statutes to: - increase the amount of state severance taxes paid by oil and natural gas companies, primarily by eliminating an existing state tax credit; - allocate the increased severance tax revenue to college scholarships for state residents, wildlife habitat, renewable energy projects, transportation projects in energy-impacted areas, and water treatment grants; and - exempt all oil and gas severance tax revenue from state and local spending limits.

Measure Text

State taxes shall be increased $321.4 million annually by an amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the severance tax on oil and gas extracted in the state, and, in connection therewith, for taxable years commencing on or after January 1, 2009, changing the rate of the tax to 5% of total gross income from the sale of oil and gas extracted in the state when the amount of annual gross income is at least $300,000; eliminating a credit against the severance tax for property taxes paid by oil and gas producers and interest owners; reducing the level of production that qualifies wells for an exemption from the tax; exempting revenues from the tax and related investment income from state and local government spending limits; and requiring specified percentages of the tax revenues to be credited to (1) the severance tax trust fund, (2) the local government severance tax fund, and (3) the severance tax stabilization trust fund, which the measure creates to be used to fund scholarships for Colorado residents attending state colleges and universities, the preservation of native wildlife habitat, enhancements in renewable energy and energy efficiency, transportation projects in counties and municipalities impacted by the severance of oil and gas, and community drinking water and wastewater treatment grants.