State distributing $80 million in mining severance taxes

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The Colorado Department of Local Affairs will oversee the distribution of a record $80.4 million from the Local Government Severance Tax Fund and Federal Mineral Lease Fund.

Just over 500 cities, counties and school districts will receive money. Legislation passed last year authorized a new method of distribution, adding factors such as new well and mine permits, mineral production and population to the mix. Previously, the distributions were based solely on the Colorado Employee Residence Reports. Last year, the distribution totaled $32.7 million.

The record distribution is being attributed to the changes as well as to an increase in revenue generated by energy and mineral extraction activities.

“These funds come at a critical time and will help local agencies and schools maintain quality services,” Colorado’s Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien said. “These direct distribution awards will allow local officials to decide how best to invest these funds and make the biggest difference in their communities.”

The biggest amounts distributed in Northern Colorado went to Weld County, which received almost $3.39 million, and Greeley with $2.03 million.