A federal bankruptcy judge has given the green light toPeabody Energy Corp.to pay its property taxes.
This move will allow the company to keep the funds flowingto local schools, fire departments and libraries in places like Routt County,Colo.
"Peabody is a longtime employer and member ofthe Routt County and prides ourselves on being a good neighbor," spokesperson Beth Sutton said to S&P Global MarketIntelligence.
Themotion in the United States BankruptcyCourt in the Eastern District of Missouri allows the coal producer to pay,although it does not direct them to pay, secured or priority unsecuredprepetition real and personal property taxes.
Suttonsaid that the company was pleased about the authorization.
"We are heartened by important jobs andeconomic benefits that coal mining brings to this area," Sutton said.
Officials in the county that the company missed a $1.2million property tax payment due in June as the company was reorganizing underChapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Peabody was the largest tax payer in thecounty, according to county attorney Erick Knaus, and the company's financialwoes have affected the local community.
Companies that seek protection under Chapter 11bankruptcy have some protection from tax obligations as they reorganize. Courtdocuments say that Peabody has incurred around $29.4 million in various propertytaxes.
Sutton noted that Peabody appreciated the continuedsupport from the local community as it reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcyproceedings. "Peabody has approximately 300 employees at our TwentymileMine, and these operations injected about a half-billion dollars in direct andindirect economic impacts into the region this past year," she said.