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Senate begins debate on tax decrease for coal

Front Senate
Bob Beck
/
Wyoming Public Media
Senate March 2022

The Wyoming Senate gave initial support to a bill that would reduce coal taxes by half a percent.  House bill 105 is being supported as a way to help the coal industry and make their taxes closer to the severance taxes that oil and gas pay.

Sheridan Sen. Bo Biteman said it will put roughly $10 million more into the pockets of coal companies.

That money could be used to do much needed repairs on equipment, hiring, all kinds of different things that could help make our coal industry stable and well positioned to ride out the storm here,” said Biteman.

But it will also cost the state $10 million a year. Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss said he asked coal officials if it would create more jobs or help protect workers. He noted that he got maybes.

“There was no reasonable evidence or reasonable credible assertion that this $10 million would do anything for the state of Wyoming, or the people of Wyoming, or the community in that northeastern part of Wyoming. But we know it will increase our structural deficit by $10 million,” said Rothfuss.

The Senate gave initial support to the bill and it will be debated two more times.

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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