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      Snyder signs mining severance tax policy

      A new mining severance tax policy is now the law in Michigan. It's a six bill package concerning the tax structure for mineral extraction, and it's aimed at the mining and development taking place at the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine in Marquette County.

      Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation on Thursday morning. Also on hand, state Senator Tom Casperson and Humboldt Township Supervisor Joe DeRocher.

      The new law places a tax of 2.75 percent on minerals like copper and nickel. The severance tax will be collected by local units of government with 65 percent of the revenue for counties, townships and school districts.

      Thirty-five percent will go toward rural development to support long-term economic development.

      "This tax will create new jobs across the Upper Peninsula and the State of Michigan," said DeRocher. "By doing that, there is now a transparency for the tax code, a simplification to the computation on how we arrive at the number we need. That is now also fair."

      DeRocher also says this bill provides support to communities with stabilized revenue for small townships through out Upper Michigan. Supporters of the legislation say it's good business for new mining operations, by easing upfront costs.

      They will no longer pay taxes until they start extracting minerals.