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Cloud Peak Energy Resources, LLC v. Dept. of Revenue

Cloud Peak Energy Resources, LLC v. Dept. of Revenue, 2015 MT 10 (Jan. 13, 2015) (Rice, J.) (7-0, aff’d & rev’d) 

Issue: (1) Whether the Department of Revenue incorrectly imputed revenue from non-arm’s length coal sales under § 15-35-107, MCA; and (2) whether coal additives used from 2005-2007 are subject to the coal tax.

Short Answer: (1) Yes. The “time of sale” was when coal contracts were negotiated, not when coal was shipped. (2) Yes. The plain language of § 15-35-102(5) was broad enough to include these costs.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part

Facts: Cloud Peak owns and operates Spring Creek coal mine. In 2008 the Department audited Cloud Peak’s coal tax payments for 2005-2007.…