Lincoln County Treasurer Jerry Greenfield released a report at the end of the year summarizing the first losses associated with the shutdown of the coal power plant in Kemmerer.
“Financially, this has caused a loss in coal sales in the amount of 1.2 million tons per year, resulting in a loss of sales tax revenue totaling $1,260,000 to the cities, towns, county and state,” the report said.
In a report released to the Lincoln Commission and sent to the Governor’s office, Treasurer Greenfield warned of additional losses for the county.
“Property taxes are the next issue we are faced with,” he said. “We anticipate losses of around 33 percent with coal, due to Unit No. 3 and this will have an effect on property tax for the years 2020 to 2021.”
Greenfield pointed out, “This amounts to over $3.3 million of which 78 percent of these dollars goes to education.”
Looking to the future the treasurer advised that there will be side effects for the combined coal mine and power plant.
“The concern I have is if, or when production is reduced to the point of nonprofit for the coal mine, it will close down both operations sooner than projected.”
He added, “If the power plant and coal mine are shut down the loss of jobs and tax revenue to the county will cause a financial disaster to the county overall.”
Greenfield concluded, “As devastating as this is, it’s just the beginning of what will come. We need to offset these actions as soon as possible.”