INCENTIVES TO BURN LOCAL COAL came under fire

INCENTIVES TO BURN LOCAL COAL came under fire

July 01, 2000

INCENTIVES TO BURN LOCAL COAL came under fire.

Washington State was forced by a lawsuit filed by coal companies in Wyoming and Montana to drop a sales tax exemption for coal purchased for use as fuel in power plants. The exemption could only be claimed by power plants using at least 70% local coal. Local coal meant coal from the local county or a contiguous county. The lawsuit charged the exemption was an unconstitutional drag on interstate commerce. The state legislature decided to drop the 70% requirement rather than fight the suit.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky legislature voted in March to provide tax credits of $2 a ton for each additional ton of Kentucky coal that coal utilities burn above a base. Another bill provides tax exemptions for new coal-fired power plants built in coal counties.

Keith Martin