BOCC, Encana reach agreement on 2014 natural gas production value

Garfield County and local government taxing districts must refund $5.7 million

March 2, 2018

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners signed an agreement with Encana on Monday, resolving a long-running abatement process with the energy company. Due to its own error in reporting the value of natural gas it produced in 2014, Encana overpaid $5.7 million dollars in property taxes to Garfield County and local taxing districts, which now must refund the money.

On top of the refund, there is approximately $858,000 in interest, calculated at one percent per month, due to Encana. After multiple negotiations requesting Encana reduce or drop the interest amounts with no resolution, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky recommended Garfield County cover the entire amount of interest owed by the local taxing districts to Encana.

The Oil and Gas Mitigation Fund, which offsets the impact of oil and gas operations, will be tapped to cover the interest portion of the repayment.

“The Oil and Gas Mitigation Fund was established for situations such as this. I think it is prudent for Garfield County to pick up the interest amount for all the taxing districts,” Jankovsky said.

Garfield County’s share of the $5.7 million abatement refund is $1.9 million, while local taxing districts owe a combined $3.8 million. This agreement ends a legal process that began in January of 2017.

School districts that owe money include Garfield County Re-2, Garfield School District 16, and De Beque JT-49. Local government entities that are impacted include Garfield County, Grand Valley Fire District, Colorado River Fire District, Grand River Hospital District, Colorado River Water Conservation District, Colorado Mountain College, Parachute Parks and Recreation District, Bluestone Water District, West Divide Water District, Grand Valley Cemetery District, De Beque Fire District, and the Garfield County Public Library District.

The repayment agreement was approved unanimously by the BOCC, 3-0.