Wyoming minerals tax value plummets

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The taxable value of Wyoming minerals have plummeted 38.3 percent this year.

The Wyoming Department of Revenue reported the statewide mineral values for 2010, based on 2009 production, decreased from $20.3 billion to $12.5 billion.

Revenue Department Director Ed Schmidt says the percentage drop is severe because mineral values were unusually high in 2008. But he says it's also more consistent with what it's been in previous years.

Local property taxes are levied on the statewide taxable mineral values. About 71 percent of the tax goes to kindergarten through 12 education.

The state's financial experts anticipated the decline in mineral values. Schmidt says his department sent out notices a year ago to prepare for the coming tax decline.