Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Wednesday exempting coal burned in a power plant on tribal land from the state’s sales tax, The Associated Press reports.
The bill was designed to make the Navajo Generating Station, located on land owned by the Navajo Nation, a more attractive business decision. The plant needs a new owner to take over before the end of next year or it will close. The plant’s operations support 800 jobs, according to The AP on Thursday.
The Navajo Generating Station is the largest coal-burning power plant in the West and a pillar of the local Native American economy. The plant is struggling to retain customers, however, as utilities that use its power look for cleaner options, NBC News reports.
Hopes of keeping the power plant open had been waning in recent weeks.
“Right now all the indicators are this plant is going to shut down. It’s going to be decommissioned,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye told NBC in an article published April 11.
The bill signed by Ducey increases the odds of enticing a buyer to take over the plant. The state stands to lose an estimated $12 million in revenue annually because of the tax break.
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