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Yellowstone County gives tax break to coal mine

By Associated Press
Published On: May 08 2013 07:25:18 AM MDT
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Yellowstone County commissioners have approved tax breaks lasting up to nine years for Signal Peak Energy and its Bull Mountain coal mine south of Roundup.
    
The Billings Gazette reports that the tax breaks approved Tuesday apply to the company's longwall mining equipment.
    
As a new or expanding business, Signal Peak receives a lower tax rate for 10 years. Tuesday's action extended tax breaks earlier approved by Musselshell County, when the equipment was located there.
    
The equipment is valued at almost $77 million.
    
Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund says Signal Peak has 325 workers and a $39 million annual payroll. He says it's spent $350 million on improvements since the 2008 opening of its underground mine, the only one of its kind in Montana.