Ex-lawmakers: Energy tax campaign materials false
September 9, 2008
DENVER ” Nine former state lawmakers challenged Gov. Bill Ritter on Monday about information used in a campaign calling for an end to tax credits for the oil and gas industry.
The group wrote Ritter a letter saying campaign materials for Amendment 58 wrongly claim the tax credit was created 30 years ago as a subsidy to entice the industry to Colorado.
The ex-lawmakers, who say they were in the Legislature at the time, said the oil and gas industry was already booming in Colorado at the time and that the change was a tax increase, not a subsidy.
The group demanded that Ritter correct the information for the campaign, which he supports.
Campaign spokesman George Merritt said Amendment 58 backers stand by the statement that the credits amount to a yearly $300 million subsidy.
“If they don’t think a $300 million credit is an incentive, maybe we shouldn’t be giving them one,” he said.
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Proponents of Amendment 58 say eliminating the tax credit will allow the state to collect between $250 to $325 million a year for education, renewable energy projects, and road and water projects.
Opponents say consumers would pay if the measure passes because oil and gas companies would pass on the costs.