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Coal Co. Pays Owed Property Taxes to McDowell County

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A Russian-owned coal company has agreed to pay $800,000 in back taxes to McDowell County. The money comes after the Sheriff’s Department filed a suit to collect.

The McDowell County Sheriff’s Department says Mechel Bluestone Coal Corporation owed $1.2 million dollars in property taxes.

Officials say the company had refused to pay until the courts began working to seize property to rectify the debt.

The department filed a lawsuit but the company didn’t respond within the 30 days allowed. Earlier this week, McDowell County Circuit Court Judge Rick Murensky filed a default order.

Sheriff Martin West tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that he was in the process of obtaining an order from the circuit court authorizing seizure of property when the payment was made.

Officials say a payment of $800,000 was received from the Mechel Bluestone Coal Corporation. Wyoming County Sheriff Randall Aliff filed a similar lawsuit against the same company in February.

Mechel, a company based in Russia, purchased Bluestone Coal from current Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice in 2009. 

Sheriff West says that the money collected for taxes will help make up the budget shortfall for the McDowell County Commission and the Board of Education for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

Officials say there are more outstanding taxes and possible suits being filed but none owe as much as Bluestone Coal did.

Sheriff West is in the process of negotiating with other companies.


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