NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 1, 2008

Congress seems to have wrapped up its energy policy debate for now, but an open letter from 90 economists today warns that a new threat to taxpayers' wallets has emerged at the state level: Amendment 58, which would raise taxes on oil and natural gas production and, in their words, "have the effect of raising energy prices on consumers and discouraging growth in Colorado's economy."  The joint statement was organized by the National Taxpayers Union.

The economists note that Amendment 58 would:

  • Double the tax rate on oil and gas production in Colorado -- which, according to one study, would cause the state's oil and natural gas projects to shoulder the second-highest production tax burden among top energy-producing states.
  • State production of oil and natural gas would decrease, leading to heavier dependence on imports and decreased investments in oil and natural gas development.

"If Colorado policymakers want to pursue a sound energy policy, they ought to keep taxes low and reduce government interference in the markets that are capable of delivering innovative energy solutions to consumers," the letter concludes.  "Attempts to punish successful industries and redirect money to programs favored by politicians have failed to solve our energy problems in the past, and there's not reason to think this effort will be any different."

Source: National Taxpayers Union, "90 Economists Warn Coloradans Against Harmful Effects of Amendment 58,", September 30, 2008.


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