If Coal is Such an Economic Superman….

by jhwygirl

If coal creates such awesome tax revenue and 1,000’s of high paying jobs and all that good stuff, why is there a severance tax that provides direct funding to communities directly affected by the impacts of coal mining and its industry-run-amok practices?

I mean, shouldn’t the jobs and increased tax revenues that come with all those high paying jobs and investments in infrastructure of said coal operations? Why does there have to be an extra tax that takes care of the basics – things like firetrucks and police cars and wastewater system improvements?

What other communities around the state get bonus tax dollars from their major industries?

By God, does the free market exist? You’d think on of the oldest industries here in the U.S. would be viable enough that it generated enough jobs and tax revenue for the communities it runs roughshod over?

I’m shocked.

Did the western states miss out on a timber severance tax? We should try and grab that up. I’m sure Libby and Thompson Falls and Dillon and Darby and Deer Lodge can all use a little extra cash for pothole repair or police cars.

  1. add “free market” to the list of illusions, next to “democratic process” and “civil discourse”. Fun while it lasted though!

  2. Pogo Possum

    Actually, coal production in Montana does produce “awesome revenues” to the tune of around $39 Million a year which is divided among various state accounts including: the General Fund ($10.4 Million), Long Range Building Program ($4.7 Million), Parks Trust Fund ($0.496 Million) Capitol Art Protection Trust Fund ($0.246) and Local Impacts ($2.1 Million).

    Click to access 13-CoalTax_1106.pdf

    Over $350 Million collected in the past ten years is not exactly small potatoes.

    There is not a separate “. . . severance tax that provides direct funding to communities directly affected by the impacts of coal mining.” This is NOT an “extra tax.”

    The funding for the Coal Board comes from the existing Coal Severance Tax, not an extra tax. The 1975 bill creating the Coal Board targeted a small piece of the coal tax revenue to the communities directly impacted by coal production. I have visited these communities and have spoken with the county commissioners, city council people, Tribal Council members, hospital administrators and school supernatants. I guarantee you these they place a very high value on the tax dollars directed to their communities.

    I know you don´t like coal production of any kind. But if you question its value to Montana, then I suggest you call any of the Democratic challenges in this year´s US House race and encourage them to make closure of all coal production in Montana one of their top agenda items. That should generate them some media coverage.

  3. steve kelly

    Show me the prosperity.

    Extractive industries — coal, timber, grazing, mining, and oil and gas — have not produced the economic growth that built Montana’s most attractive communities. Quite the opposite. New growth comes AFTER the resource has been depleted and the federally-subsidized industry moves out of state or offshore in search of new political cronies to do their bidding, cheap commodities and slave labor.

    No bigger subsidy than (1987) when Montana’s coal severance tax was cut from 30% to 15% on bituminous coal and lignite coal to 10%, exempting the first 20,000 tons (later, 50,000 tons) of coal mined from ANY tax.

    This “resource colony” mentality persists today, preventing actual statehood and self-determination.

  1. 1 Does Coal Cash Turn Protestors into Hippiecrites? | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] If Coal is Such an Economic Superman… […]

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