CASPER, Wyo. — A bill has been proposed in the upcoming legislative session to increase the tax on Wyoming coal if current federal fees are reduced.
House Bill 80 has been offered by Republican Rep. Dan Zwonitzer of Cheyenne.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that his bill would increase Wyoming’s severance tax on coal from 7 percent to 9.2 percent if federal Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program fees expire.
The Abandoned Mine Land fees were set up in the late-1970s to fund cleanup of old coal mine. However, it is scheduled to expire in 2021 unless Congress reauthorizes it.
Zwonitzer says his bill wouldn’t increases costs to the coal industry but would help the state budget, which has seen a loss of mining revenue in the last few years.
The Legislature convenes next Monday.
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com