ad valorem taxes

Stephanie Joyce

A coal company in the Powder River Basin has avoided paying millions in personal and property taxes to Campbell County. Blackjewel has fallen delinquent $8,647,576.23 in taxes primarily from production, according to Campbell County attorney Carol Seeger. They were due last year. On March 1, another $8 million will come due. If the company doesn't pay it by May 10, it will be considered delinquent.

Screenshot from SF 118
wyoleg.gov

A bill under discussion in the Wyoming legislature called tax liability mineral production may not sound important, but Sheridan Representative Cyrus Western, and other legislators, assure that it is. Counties see it as a step towards recovering taxes owed to them from mineral companies - ad valorem taxes.

Pexels

A bill passed out of a legislative committee yesterday that would make it easier for counties to collect ad valorem taxes. A report last year found counties were missing out on over $50 million in delinquent ad valorem taxes, often due to bankruptcies.

Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming's Joint Revenue Committee will not change how ad valorem taxes are collected just yet. The one-time mineral property tax has left counties over $50 million in the hole, as of July, due to systematic issues like an 18-month wait for tax collection and prioritizing creditors in debt collection. An agreeable solution is still out of reach, with legislature cycling through the same options year after year.

Mark Christensen speaking in front of the House Subcommittee on Natural Resources
House Committee on Natural Resources

Congress is considering a bill called the POWER Counties Act that would re-direct funds back to mineral-producing counties. The reclamation fund within the Mineral Leasing Act typically supports water projects, like dams, but now has an excess of money thanks to increased mineral leasing.