Hard Rock Mining Impact Board (HRMI)
The Hard Rock Mining Impact (HRMI) Board administers the Hard Rock Mining Impact Act (HRMIA) and the companion Property Tax Base Sharing (PTBS) Act. The HRMI Board provides technical assistance with metal mines license tax distributions. The Board also can adjudicate disputes between affected entities.
The purpose of the HRMIA and PTBS Acts are to mitigate local government services, facility and fiscal impacts from new large-scale hard rock mineral developments in the State. Mineral developers and affected local governments prepare and implement impact plans intended to ensure that local government facilities and services are available when and where they are needed as a result of new mineral developments, without imposing additional costs on the existing local taxpayer.
Developers pay new capital and net operating costs through prepaid property taxes with a subsequent tax credit, grant, or facility impact bond. Under specified circumstances, affected entities may petition the Board to amend approved impact plans.
Responsibility and Action
The Board formally reviews Impact Plans for compliance with the Hard-Rock Mining Impact Act (HRMIA) and the administrative rules. If a local government disagrees with any portion of the plan, the governing body may file an objection with the Hard-Rock Mining Impact (HRMI) Board during the 90-day review period. If the objection is not resolved through negotiation between the developer and the governing body, the Board holds a public hearing on the objection and arbitrates the dispute.
The HRMI Board must approve the Impact Plan. The developer or an affected local government unit may petition the Board to amend an approved plan under those circumstances specified by statute or as provided in the Impact Plan itself.
A new hard rock mineral development that becomes "large-scale" (hiring 75 employees) after it has received its operating permit may petition the Board for a waiver from the requirements of the Act. The Board may grant a waiver or a conditional waiver or, following a public hearing, may require that an Impact Plan be prepared. To implement the Impact Act, the Hard-Rock Mining Impact Board has adopted administrative rules beginning with 8.104.101 in the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM).