When They Tell You Coal Is Cheap…

Ask them about Montana’s state subsidies for coal, as summarized in a recent legislative report.  One subsidy explicitly makes strip mining operations economic that would otherwise run in the red.  Your tax dollars at work, making sure global coal companies turn a profit from shipping our natural resources to China.

Property tax exemption: Provides an exemption from property
taxation of one-half the contract sales price of coal sold by a coal
producer who extracts less than 50,000 tons of coal each year. (15-6-
208, MCA)

Reclamation and Development Grants Program Act: Authorizes
the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to
fund projects that will indemnify the people of Montana against the
effects of coal and other mineral development. The purposes of the
program are to repair and mitigate environmental damage resulting
from the extraction of nonrenewable resources. (Title 90, chapter 2,
part 11, MCA)

Severance tax reduction: The severance tax rate on coal recovered
from a strip mine using auger mining is reduced based on legislation
approved by the 2009 Legislature. The reduced rate applies to coal
recovered from mining operations that would otherwise be
uneconomical to recover by strip-mining methods. (15-35-103, MCA)

Local tax abatement: Approved in 2011, provides that the tax
abatement may be 50% or less for an underground mine taxed at 5%
of the value of coal and provides an initial coal gross proceeds tax of
2.5% on coal produced from a new or existing underground mine for
an initial 10-year period. Allows local government to set the local tax
abatement on other mines at 50% or less. (15-23-703 and 15-23-715,

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