Coal Severance Tax

Edward Kimmel / Flickr

Officials say a West Virginia county sheriff's office has hired four deputies after it had $240,000 in budget cuts during the last few years.

Jim Justice
Chris Tilley / AP Photo


West Virginia's Democratic candidate for governor is a billionaire, a philanthropist and a resort and coal mine owner who cites his business and mining experience as major attributes as he seeks to lead his home state out of a severe budget and economic crisis.

"I am not a career politician; I am a career businessman," wrote Jim Justice in an April 5 op-ed that appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House took up a bill Wednesday that would give coal producing counties more control over how they spend those revenues.

House Bill 4668 increases the threshold of coal severance taxes counties can use to pay salaries and employee benefits. State law says only a fourth of those severance dollars can be used to pay personnel, but the bill would increase the allowable share from one-fourth to one-half.  

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

During a session that has largely focused on how lawmakers will close a nearly $400 million budget gap, the Senate will vote on a bill Wednesday that will cut taxes for both the coal and natural gas industries. 

Legislature
Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

West Virginia is looking to drop surtaxes on coal mining and natural gas drilling.

The House voted 96-3 Thursday to approve dropping the additional severance tax of 56 cents per ton of coal and 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. The Senate previously passed the bill, and still would need to vote on House amendments.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wants to give struggling coal producers a break by dropping a tax used to pay down a worker's compensation debt.

That debt should be paid off this year. Coal's portion brought in $64 million last budget year.