Feds will grab state mineral royalty money

Mar 26, 2013

The federal government has told the state of Wyoming that it will deduct 53 million dollars from the state’s share of federal mineral royalties between now and July as part of the federal sequester.  The government says it may remove more money at a later date.              

Wyoming is guaranteed 50 percent of the revenues from mineral leasing on federal lands in the state and state officials believe that the money cannot be tampered with.  State Treasurer Mark Gordon says the state is pursuing all avenues to get the money back.     

“This constitutes a borrowing of our side of paycheck.  You know when mineral royalties are generated to the federal government, there is an obligation they have to make sure we get our rightful share.  So sequestration is an odd thing to apply to that.  It’s sort of like saying we are going to use a little bit of your paycheck to pay off our debt.”

Gordon says the loss of funds would have a huge impact on state education and local governments’ budgets.  Governor Matt Mead says the lack of communication concerning the cut is unacceptable.