Colorado Property Tax Administrator v. CO2 Committee, Inc.
2023 CO 8. No. 21SC393. Oil and Gas—Property Taxation—Standing—Statutory Construction.
February 21, 2023
In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether nonoperating fractional interest owners in a unitized oil and gas operation have standing to independently challenge a county’s retroactive property tax increase. After examining the statutory scheme and administrative guidance related to the taxation of oil and gas leaseholds, the Court concluded that article 7 of title 39 creates a unique representative system in which a unit operator is the sole entity with standing to protest a retroactive assessment on the unit it operates. Because a unit operator is the sole point of contact throughout the reporting, notice, and taxpaying process, the Court held that nonoperating fractional interest owners do not have a legally protected interest in the valuation and taxation of their oil and gas leaseholds and lands and, therefore, lack standing to challenge a retroactive assessment and property tax increase.