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Energy firms lead list of top taxpayers

A horsehead pump with compression station in the background have become familiar sites in the desert lands of Carbon County. Property taxes and mineral lease royalties are vital to the county economy.

Sun Advocate Reporter

Energy companies again dominate the list of the top ten property tax payers in Carbon County in 2010.

Nine of the ten companies making this year's list are directly involved in energy production, while Union Pacific is closely linked as a major transporter of coal.

The combined contribution of the ten to schools and other local government services this year was $11,112,273, according to figures provided by the County Treasurer's Office. That's a little more than half of all property tax charges of $22,023,484.

Heading the list again this year is Conoco-Phillips, which has extensive natural gas and coal bed methane facilities in the county. The company's assessed value of $385,653,315 and tax amount of $3,757,203 are more than twice that of Anadarko's $147,551,646 value and $1,507,983 tax.

Impressive as those numbers are, they are lower than 2008 for about half of the major taxpayers. Of the companies appearing in the top ten for both 2008 and 2010, five of them have reduced valuations and taxes: Conoco-Phillips, Anadarko, Bill Barrett, Canyon Fuel and Questar Pipeline.

These assessments are done by the state according to a formula that includes many factors.

In addition to property taxes, fossil fuel energy producers on public lands also pay mineral lease royalties, which amount to additional millions in revenue for the county.

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