Sev­er­ance taxes need an up­date

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Robert Bray­den,

“Down­turn in oil, gas rip­ples through N.M.,” Dec. 5 busi­ness ar­ti­cle.

Ev­ery cit­i­zen ben­e­fits from taxes the state spends on the le­gal sys­tem, high­way in­fra­struc­ture, state high­way pa­trol, and many are able to ap­pre­ci­ate works of art and his­tory cu­rated by state-funded mu­se­ums. As ev­ery per­son uses en­ergy, it seems to me that sev­er­ance taxes fund these state ser­vices. As oil and gas ex­trac­tion have de­clined, sev­er­ance taxes and state rev­enues have fallen in many re­source-rich states. The pop­u­lace is not us­ing less en­ergy; rather, the type of en­ergy use is chang­ing.

To be fair to those pro­vid­ing state ser­vices, new taxes on wind, so­lar, bio­fu­els and hy­dro­elec­tric power should be passed. Put into ef­fect prop­erly, state rev­enue per capita should and would be sta­ble.

Joe Heller, www.heller­toon.com

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