Economics ETDs

Publication Date



This study develops natural resource tax revenue projections to the year 2000 for each of the significant natural resource taxes levied on the major extractive industries in the Four Corners states. Two estimates of revenues, a high and a low projection are preset ted to indicate an upper and lower bound to future natural resource tax revenue levels. The projections are intended for use only as an indication of the relative magnitude of the future revenues. Revenue projections are based on current state tax structures and on output, price and value of output projections of natural resource commodities. A description of the experience of the Four Corners states with natural resource taxes is presented along with a brief historical background of each state's extractive tax structure. Each type of resource tax existing in each state is considered specifically. In addition, recent state tax legislation is explained and property taxation, as it applies to the natural resource industries in the four states, is compared. Output, price and value of output projections are developed for each of the major extractive industries in the Four Corners states. Wherever possible, these projections were taken from other sources. However, in several cases it was necessary to develop original projections. Each projection is broken down by state in five year intervals from 1980 to the year 2000. The revenue projections indicate that a dramatic increase in levels of natural resource tax revenues will occur. The major contributors to the increase are the energy-related fuels and minerals industries. A second set of revenue projections was constructed based on the assumption that Arizona, Colorado and Utah adopt New Mexico's natural resource tax structure and rates. A comparison of the two sets of projections reveals that revenue levels are substantially higher in the second set. It may be concluded that the other three states would benefit greatly now and to a much larger extent in the future, if they were to impose natural resource taxes identical to those levied in New Mexico.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Franklin Lee Brown, Jr.

Second Committee Member

Gerald Joseph Boyle

Third Committee Member

Alfred Leroy Parker



Document Type


Included in

Economics Commons