A federal bankruptcy court judge gave Peabody Energy the go-ahead on Wednesday to pay nearly $30 million in property taxes in four states while the company makes its way through bankruptcy.
Peabody Energy can now make payments to counties in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Indiana. One missed payment of around $1 million hit a small Colorado school district particularly hard. The state had to dip into its emergency fund to bail out the South Routt School District after taxes were not paid in June.
Earlier this month, the company had asked the bankruptcy court for permission to pay these taxes to avoid accruing interest and also because in some areas, Peabody is the largest taxpayer. Failure to pay, the company wrote in court documents, could result in "substantial harm" to those communities.