GarCo’s energy value has fallen by nearly half

The 2010 total assessed value related to oil and gas development in Garfield County fell to almost half of what it was for 2009, the county assessor says.

Assessor John Gorman informed county commissioners Monday that the preliminary assessed value connected to the industry totaled $1.9 billion, compared to a $3.7 billion final figure for a year earlier.

The current amount continues to exceed the county’s assessed value for real property, preliminarily estimated to be just below $1.24 billion, and almost unchanged from last year.

Oil and gas production is assessed at 87.5 percent of actual value, compared to 29 percent for commercial property and 7.96 percent for residential.

Production accounted for $1.3 billion of the county’s oil and gas assessed value this year, with the remainder deriving from well equipment, gas gathering systems and drill rigs.

The assessed value of production for 2009 leapt to $3 billion from $1.8 billion the year before. The decline since then reflects decreases both in natural gas prices and drilling activity.

The decline in oil and gas assessed value will affect revenues next year for the county, fire districts, schools and other local tax jurisdictions. Gorman previously has projected the decline could cost the county about $19 million to $21 million in revenues.

The county has been budgeting accordingly in anticipation of the decreased oil and gas valuation.

“It will continue to go down,” Commissioner John Martin predicted Monday.

The county’s 2010 assessed value of oil and gas production is the lowest since 2005. Overall oil and gas assessed valuation is the lowest since 2007.


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