Cloud Peak

A shovel loads haulers with coal at Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope Mine north of Douglas.

GILLETTE (AP) — A Wyoming county could lose out on over $30 million in mineral production taxes owed by a bankrupt coal company following a decision by a judge.

Delaware U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross ruled Campbell and Converse counties don't have first priority when it comes to collecting from Cloud Peak Energy.

The Gillette News-Record reports the ruling could make it difficult for the counties to collect. They must wait in line behind other creditors.

Local officials say Campbell County alone could be owed $30 million or more.

Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.

The loss will be a hit for school districts across Wyoming. As much as 75 percent of the tax revenue goes back to the state for redistribution to districts statewide.

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