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Bill to Authorize Negotiations To Buy 1 Million Acres of Land From Occidental Advances

House Bill 249, which would authorize the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board to conduct due diligence and negotiate for the purchase of roughly 1 million acres of land, most of it Sweetwater County, today passed the House Committee of the Whole. The bill is expected to be amended to require a special session of the legislature to approve any eventual purchase. The land includes mineral rights to trona, coal, oil and natural gas. There is no estimate of any proposed purchase price, but the lands currently generate over $100 million per year in income. House Bill 249 protects Sweetwater County from the loss of property tax through a payment in lieu of taxes provision. Revenue from the lands acquired would go to the School Foundation Program to pay for K-12 education. When it comes to K-12 education, every $100 million helps. Stay tuned.

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