Amendment 58 is one that all students should feel obligated to vote for.
The legislation proposes to do away with an existing state tax credit given to oil and natural gas companies. The estimated $258 million annual dividend would instead be used to bolster higher education funding, among other things.
Water grants, transportation projects, wildlife habitat and clean energy programs would all receive a portion of the money, with college scholarships receiving nearly triple the amount than the rest.
With the record profits the oil and gas industries are experiencing right now and knowing what a valuable asset Colorado is to their continued success, our state has no reason to keep allowing these companies to skirt by without paying full taxes.
And what better way to spend the extra tax money than on higher education, something Colorado desperately needs to do more often and in larger quantities?
A major argument against Amendment 58, most likely formulated and backed by those that receive some of those record oil and gas profits, is one that warns proponents of the legislature that the costs will just be passed on to the public.
While this seems like a valid threat, it should be noted that only a small percentage of the gas and oil pumped from Colorado wells is refined and sold back to Colorado consumers.
Prices may increase, but not by much. The increase will be spread around the large customer base companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger have, and will be measured in the amount of mere pennies if the companies only seek to cover their losses.
CSU, tell big oil and gas to start paying for your education. If they’re setting up rigs in your backyard and making millions, they should be able to chip in to your college fund.