Governor Matt Mead and a handful of Wyoming legislators are excited about an idea that they hope will create more jobs in the state and finally do something locally with the minerals and other sources of energy that the state harvests. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
Wyoming lawmakers are concerned with a provision in the bipartisan budget agreement that would cost the state money for mineral development.
Wyoming stands to lose around twenty million dollars annually from the budget deal that overwhelmingly passed the House. It includes a provision that makes permanent a law that charges states like Wyoming for costs associated with their mineral leases. The state hasn’t received that money since 2008, but Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis and other officials thought that was just temporary.
The Legislature’s Revenue Committee strongly supported a bill Tuesday that would lower interest rates on unpaid mineral taxes.
Currently, if a state audit finds that companies have incorrectly reported their production, counties can levy interest of up to 18 percent on back taxes.
The bill changes that, pegging interest to current rates, with a minimum of 12 percent and a maximum of 18 percent. Interest rates for companies that discover the discrepancy on their own would remain the same – at 18 percent.