The gas and refining industry supports quite 232,900 jobs in Colorado;
the industry also contributes quite $31.4 billion to the state’s economy,
almost 10% of Colorado’s GSP.9 10 The gas and refining industry in Colorado
supports 6.5% of all employment within the state. the typical wage in these jobs
is quite twice Colorado’s average wage.
The benefits from the industry reach well beyond gas and oil wells; even
counties with minimal production gain from the gas and refining industry . For
example, though the town and County of Denver only produces small amounts
of gas and oil, a big number of jobs are supported and therefore the area
benefits from funds received from the Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund
The EIAF program uses funds from the state severance tax on energy to
support municipalities, counties, school districts and special districts impacted
by the event , processing or energy conversion of minerals and mineral
fuels.13 Denver, Weld, Mesa, Garfield, and Arapahoe counties account for 75% of
upstream and midstream jobs, albeit significant production occurs only in
Weld and Garfield. And the total economic impact of the industry was $31.4 billion in 2015 across
In Colorado, the industry is subject to a severance tax for the assembly of
nonrenewable resources. The marginal rate ranges from 2 to five, which depends
on the income from production. From this tax on producers, 50% goes to the
state fund (see community section for more information) and 50% goes
to the local impact fund.14 State Trust funds are distributed to finance state and
local projects, including loans for state conservation projects.
The local impact fund is allocated 70% to government grants projects and 30% to
local governments.15 The funds from the severance tax are allocated to counties,
municipalities, and faculty districts and help to fund infrastructure upgrades,
community centers, schools, and other amenities that Coloradans value in their
community. The Severance tax total was $330 million in 2014, as compared to
$135 million in 2012.
The City and County of Denver received $17.9 million from severance taxes
related to gas and oil activity as well as in 2012. Las Animas County is another great
example. The counties annual budget was $19.8 million in 2012, and therefore the county
received $2.4 million from severance taxes, despite relatively little development.