unnamed (31)When Mineral Park closed their doors and sold their company for $10 million, the 380 employers laid off were not the only ones effected.  With the closing of the mine, county taxpayers could lose roughly $16 million in taxes owed by the mining company for the years 2012 through 2015.  “While 380 jobs may not seem like much to some, for a rural county like ours it is major ordeal,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated.  According to Community Services Director, Susie Parel-Duranceau, the mine closure could have a rippling affect across the county with former suppliers of the mine sending out layoff notices to their employees.  “We are preparing for more layoffs in the upcoming weeks from various companies throughout the county affected by the mines closing,” Duranceau stated. In a report on the effects of the Mineral Park closure done by County Assessor Ron Nicholson, he stated that of the over $16 million owed to the county, 80% of that would have gone to special taxing districts.  “The Kingman Unified School District (KUSD) was receiving the majority of the property taxes collected.  With the sale of the mine, those educational tax dollars the school district was counting may never show up,” Johnson stated.  Along with the KUSD, the Pioneer Water Company is also set to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from the mines closure.  According to Nicholson, the water company was supplying water to the mine at a cost of over $100,000 a year on top of collecting property taxes to cover the cost of services.  “The taxpayers are the true victims of this closure.  Without these property taxes to cover the cost of the water supplied over the past year, the cost may end up being passed onto the taxpayers,” Johnson explained. Along with special taxing districts, local investors around the county are also losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars.  “Due to the sale of the mine, local banks who have invested in the mining company are having to write off their losses,” Johnson stated.  According to Johnson, the rippling effect of the mines closure may not be truly known for many months. “The $10 million will have to be divided up between us and any other lenders with a priority stake in the bankruptcy,” Johnson explained.  According to County Assessor Nicholson, the county is being asked to “wager” with taxpayer dollars.  “Our constituent taxpayers are not investors who invest with the knowledge they are taking risks to earn a future monetary reward. Taxes are collected to pay for services. When taxes are waived, everyone is hurt causing services to either diminish or causing the other taxpayers to makeup the lost revenue and assume the burden,” Nicholson stated in his report.  According to Johnson, of the $10 million the county will more than likely see less than half of it.  “If we ever do receive any of the back taxes owed to us, we will then have to decide as a board whether we want to take the money to pay off the attorney fees we have accumulated while trying to obtain the taxes, or if we want to pass it along to the special taxing district to offset some of their losses,” Johnson ended.

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