How Energy Taxes Fund Public Improvements

WPX’s Susan Alvillar (right) gives remarks at a recent news conference along with Gov. John Hickenlooper (left).

Last year WPX paid $11.6 million in state severance taxes in Colorado and $66 million in royalties to Uncle Sam for our in-state wells on federal lands. Colorado also receives a share of the royalties we pay to the federal government.

After the state collects taxes from WPX and scores of other energy producers, along with its share of royalties from the federal government, some of that money comes right back to help fund public improvements on the Western Slope.

It’s all made possible by a grant program dating back to 1977 that is administered by the state’s Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).

Last year Colorado issued $78 million in grants to help pay for improvements in more than 500 communities and school districts across the state.

“This grant program is a valuable tool for Colorado’s smaller and rural communities,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “With these funds, communities are able to plan for and implement substantial capital improvements, essential public projects and other services.”

According to the state, 8.66 jobs are created for every $1 million in grants. Since July 2012, the program has awarded $150 million in grants, creating an estimated 1,300 jobs supporting grant-funded projects.

WPX’s Susan Alvillar is one of the members who serves on the advisory committee that supports this process. Susan and her fellow committee members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate.

She made some remarks at a recent news conference announcing the results of the grant program, along with Gov. Hickenlooper and others.

“I am proud to say that I work for an industry that generates the funds we are speaking about today. What a great feeling to know that vital community improvements such as water tanks, community centers, and upgraded roads are made possible through Colorado’s rich mineral resources,” she said.

“My company and our industry are committed to safe and responsible energy development so that this fund continues to thrive.”

“In fact, in 2014 alone, WPX Energy contributed over $75 million in state severance taxes and federal royalties, not counting other taxes,” Alvillar said.