Lawmakers Reject Uranium Tax Break

Jun 30, 2017

Credit U.S. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

Wyoming legislators killed a proposal June 29 that could have given a tax break to the state’s uranium industry. The vote wasn’t close.

Eleven of 12 present lawmakers voted no to a tax break during a meeting by the Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Interim Committee.

The Wyoming Mining Association was hoping to secure a tax break for uranium companies. The industry has been struggling, seeing layoffs and an 85 percent price drop since 2007.

The cut would have been to severance taxes, which are put on non-renewable resources. However, the uranium industry already has a lower severance tax percentage than coal, oil or gas, which may have asked for similar cuts if uranium's proposal went through.

Laramie County representative Bill Henderson argued that a tax break would mean budget cuts elsewhere.

He asked, “If you were a miner, and your neighbor was a teacher — and everyone knows we have a problem paying for education right now — what would you say to your neighbor?”