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House gives initial ok to coal tax break

Wyoming House of Representatives
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Radio
Wyoming House of Representatives

The Wyoming House has given initial approval to a billthat would reduce the tax on surface coal. Gillette Republican Tim Hallinan said the tax on coal is too high at a time when the industry is facing reduced demand.

But House Appropriations Chairman Bob Nicholas said coal prices are currently high, which proves that the industry isn’t struggling. He added that even a half percent reduction will reduce state revenues by about $9 million a year.

“I would submit to you that today, right now, is not the time, when they are making more money than they’ve ever made on the price per ton per production. In addition to that, if someone’s going to cut our 18 million dollars (a biennium) in revenue to the state of Wyoming, where is the offset?” asked Nicholas. ‘Where is that money going to come from?”

House floor leader Albert Sommers said a broader look at taxes and where the state can get tax revenues in the future is needed before a bill like this passes. The House will debate the bill two more times.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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