Senate reconsiders coal tax rates

Feb 29, 2012

The state Senate is considering an attempt to simplify the way coal is valued across Wyoming.  

Members of the coal industry are concerned by rising taxes.  

Lander Republican Cale Case says it’s an interesting issue.

“We are standing back and looking at it,and saying gee is it fair to have a situation where the company’s costs are increasing and yet they are being taxed more per unit of production.”

Republican Drew Perkins of Casper says they have come up with a tax formula that would reduce the tax burden in a way that shouldn’t cost the state much in the way of tax revenue. 

But Democrat Chris Rothfuss says experts disagree.

“A budget projection based on data from the Department of Revenue indicates that we will be losing somewhere around $4-million, then $6-million and then $8-million as you project forward.  That’s not revenue neutral.”

The bill says lawmakers are to review the rate in 2015, but Rothfuss says it would be very difficult to come back that year and raise taxes if the state lost money. 

The Senate will continue to debate the bill two more times.