Candidates for assessor weigh in on KM

If elected, both GOP candidates for tax assessor indicated they would not afford Kinder Morgan with any special tax treatment. Last year, the company paid the county more than $3.7 million in production taxes alone.

Former Montezuma County assessor Mark Vanderpool launched an investigation and audit into Kinder Morgan’s self-reported assets in 2008, claiming the energy company underestimated its assets by $50 million. The company later paid an additional $2 million in taxes after losing an appeal with the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA).

William “Scott” Davis, 64, and Cynthia L. Claytor, 53, both responded to a recent six-question survey by the Cortez Journal, including whether they would pursue the Kinder Morgan tax dispute.

“Because Kinder Morgan’s tax revenues contribute a major portion of the tax revenues in this county, it is imperative that they be accurately and fairly assessed to insure that all taxpayers are treated equally,” said Davis.

“The taxpayers of Montezuma County deserve equality,” said Claytor. “Everyone should pay their share of taxes, no matter how large or how small.”

Questioned how each would respond and resolve assessment evaluations or disputes raised by residents, Davis said he would listen carefully, investigate the concerns and correct any errors.

“If conflicts or resolutions cannot be reached within the assessor’s office, I’d provide the taxpayers with information and forms to seek further resolution of the dispute, thereby providing them with additional resolution options,” he said.

Claytor said she has handled hundreds of assessment questions and disputes during her 12-year tenure in the assessor’s office. She added she’s advised taxpayers to address county commissioners or the CBAA when resolutions couldn’t be reached.

“Any of the public that has had contact with me knows that I have always been genuinely sincere and handled all situations with fairness and integrity,” she said.

Both candidate surveys and their replies are available at cortezjournal.com.

tbaker@cortezjournal.com