Western Energy Co. v. State, Dept. of Rev., No. 98-713.

Docket NºNo. 98-713.
Citation1999 MT 289, 990 P.2d 767, 297 Mont. 55
Case DateNovember 26, 1999
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Montana

990 P.2d 767
1999 MT 289
297 Mont. 55

WESTERN ENERGY COMPANY, Petitioner and Respondent,
v.
The STATE of Montana, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, Respondents and Appellants

No. 98-713.

Supreme Court of Montana.

Submitted on Briefs July 1, 1999.

Decided November 26, 1999.


Brendan R. Beatty, Montana Department of Revenue; Helena, Montana, For Appellants.

John Alke, Hughes, Kellner, Sullivan & Alke; Helena, Montana, For Respondent.

Justice TERRY N. TRIEWEILER delivered the Opinion of the Court.

¶ 1 Western Energy Company ("WECO"), petitioned the District Court for the First Judicial District of Lewis and Clark County to review the State Tax Appeal Board's decision upholding the Department of Revenue's method of calculating WECO's coal production taxes. The District Court concluded that the Department's method of calculation misapplied the law and ordered that WECO owed no additional coal production taxes. The Department appeals from the order of the District Court. We affirm the District Court.

¶ 2 The sole issue on appeal is whether the District Court erred when it concluded that WECO's application of the incentive tax credit did not frustrate the plain language of § 15-35-203, MCA.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

¶ 3 In 1985 the Montana Legislature passed the New Coal Production Incentive Tax Credit Act of 1985, §§ 15-35-201, et seq., MCA, to encourage new sales of Montana coal. The Act provided a coal severance

990 P.2d 768
tax credit to producers of Montana coal on new or incremental sales. The Act required coal producers to reduce the "delivered price" of coal sold to qualified purchasers by an amount equal to the credit received, shifting the benefit of the tax credit to the purchaser in the form of a lower price for Montana coal. "Delivered price" is not defined in the Act. In accordance with the Act, WECO reduced its base price of coal on its new or incremental sales by the amount of the credit received. WECO then calculated its coal production taxes owed for the new or incremental sales based on the reduced sales price, and added those taxes to the base price to arrive at the total cost to its purchaser

¶ 4 In 1992, the Montana Department of Revenue conducted an audit of WECO for the years 1989 through 1991. The Department claimed that additional coal production taxes were due for WECO's coal produced during the period from 1989 through 1991, pursuant to the provisions of the New Coal Production Incentive Tax Credit Act of 1985, §§ 15-35-201, et seq., MCA. The additional coal production taxes included the coal severance tax, the gross proceeds tax and the resource indemnity trust tax. In arriving at the assessed deficiencies in the coal production taxes, the Department calculated WECO's coal production taxes due for new or incremental sales after adding the tax credit amount back to the base sales price and then by deducting the tax credit from the total sales price. The Department's...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 practice notes
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Mont. Dep't of Revenue, DA 18-0541
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • July 9, 2019
    ...and legislative intent is in doubt, we resolve the doubt in favor of the taxing power. Compare W. Energy Co. v. Dep't of Revenue , 1999 MT 289, ¶ 10, 297 Mont. 55, 990 P.2d 767, with State ex rel. Anderson v. State Bd. of Equalization , 133 Mont. 8, 13, 319 P.2d 221, 224 (1957). But in eith......
  • In re McLouth, No. 00-51569-13.
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Montana
    • September 14, 2000
    ...Court does so under the "plain meaning" rule as explained by the Montana Supreme Court in Western Energy Company v. State, Dept. of Rev., 297 Mont. 55, 990 P.2d 767, 769 When we interpret a statute, our objective is to implement the objectives the legislature sought to achieve. Montana Wild......
  • In re D.B.J., No. DA 12–0069.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • October 9, 2012
    ...We have recognized that the plain language of a statute most clearly reveals legislative intent. W. Energy Co. v. Dep't of Revenue, 1999 MT 289, ¶ 11, 297 Mont. 55, 990 P.2d 767. Here, the plain language of § 41–3–432, MCA, requires that a show cause hearing be commenced within the statute'......
  • Friends of the Wild Swan v. Dnrc, No. 04-862.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • December 29, 2005
    ...in the first instance, from the plain meaning of the words used." Western Energy Co. v. Dept. of Revenue, 1999 MT Page 398 289, ¶ 11, 297 Mont. 55, ¶ 11, 990 P.2d 767, ¶ 11; Brevig, ¶ ¶ 14 First, we observe that the plain language of the statute, set forth above, does not require such accou......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Mont. Dep't of Revenue, DA 18-0541
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • July 9, 2019
    ...and legislative intent is in doubt, we resolve the doubt in favor of the taxing power. Compare W. Energy Co. v. Dep't of Revenue , 1999 MT 289, ¶ 10, 297 Mont. 55, 990 P.2d 767, with State ex rel. Anderson v. State Bd. of Equalization , 133 Mont. 8, 13, 319 P.2d 221, 224 (1957). But in eith......
  • In re McLouth, No. 00-51569-13.
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Montana
    • September 14, 2000
    ...Court does so under the "plain meaning" rule as explained by the Montana Supreme Court in Western Energy Company v. State, Dept. of Rev., 297 Mont. 55, 990 P.2d 767, 769 When we interpret a statute, our objective is to implement the objectives the legislature sought to achieve. Montana Wild......
  • In re D.B.J., No. DA 12–0069.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • October 9, 2012
    ...We have recognized that the plain language of a statute most clearly reveals legislative intent. W. Energy Co. v. Dep't of Revenue, 1999 MT 289, ¶ 11, 297 Mont. 55, 990 P.2d 767. Here, the plain language of § 41–3–432, MCA, requires that a show cause hearing be commenced within the statute'......
  • Friends of the Wild Swan v. Dnrc, No. 04-862.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • December 29, 2005
    ...in the first instance, from the plain meaning of the words used." Western Energy Co. v. Dept. of Revenue, 1999 MT Page 398 289, ¶ 11, 297 Mont. 55, ¶ 11, 990 P.2d 767, ¶ 11; Brevig, ¶ ¶ 14 First, we observe that the plain language of the statute, set forth above, does not require such accou......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT