County, Caerus reach agreement on 2015 natural gas production value

Company forgives $155,000 in interest; county, taxing districts must repay $1.1 million

March 19, 2018

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners on Monday signed an abatement agreement with Caerus Piceance, LLC. This ended a process that began in December of 2016, where Caerus identified errors in the volumes and revenues of natural gas the company reported to Garfield County for properties acquired in 2014.

Due to the error, Caerus overpaid $1.1 million dollars in property taxes to Garfield County local governments and school districts, which now must refund the money.

Highlighting its commitment to Garfield County, Caerus agreed to waive $155,000 in accrued interest that is legally owed to the company by Colorado law.

“I appreciate Caerus waiving the interest expense,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “It shows their leadership in the community, and their commitment to Garfield County and the Piceance Basin.”

These reporting errors are not uncommon between sellers and buyers of oil and gas properties, and in this case resulted in an overpayment of property taxes for the tax year 2015.

“Caerus is pleased that Garfield County will be able to use these funds for essential community services,” said Caerus Vice President of Operations, Michael Rynearson. “The 150 employees in our Parachute office are proud to call the Western Slope home. Caerus has made a long-term commitment to this community, and plans to spend approximately $400 million in 2018 to develop and produce its Piceance Basin assets.”

This resolution comes after the county and local taxing districts agreed to repay Encana $5.7 million, plus $878,000 in interest, in another abatement process. Encana had made accounting errors on its overpayment, and was asked to waive interest charges, but declined to do so.

School districts that owe money are Garfield School District 16 and De Beque JT-49. Local taxing districts that are impacted include Garfield County, Grand Valley Fire District, De Beque 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, and the Garfield County Public Library District.

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