Friday, December 08, 2017

Coal CEO Robert Murray slams Senate tax bill

Coal CEO Robert Murray of Murray Energy warned that the Senate tax reform bill would destroy thousands of coal mining jobs if it's enacted, calling it a "mockery" that will put a huge tax hike on the coal industry and other companies with a similar financial structure. "This wipes out everything that President Trump has done for coal," he told Matt Egan in an interview with CNNMoney.

The Senate tax bill would lower the corporate tax rate, but preserve the Alternative Minimum Tax rate and limit the interest payments that businesses can write off. Murray Energy and other coal companies borrow heavily to pay for expensive mining operations, but the Senate tax bill would limit the amount of interest payments they can write off to 30 percent of the company's income. Murray estimates that change would increase his company's tax bill by $60 million a year.

"Auto dealers would also have been harmed by the Senate bill's interest deduction cap. But, after fierce lobbying from auto dealers, the Senate made a last-minute change to the legislation that exempts them from the interest deduction cap," Egan reports.

The House bill is much more favorable to Murray, as it eliminates the AMT. Without the AMT, companies could claim so many tax deductions that they could owe nothing in taxes.

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