West Virginia Mining Industry Pushes for Tax Relief

first_imgWest Virginia Mining Industry Pushes for Tax Relief FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:The West Virginia Coal Association, or WVCA, announced a new study aiming to bolster their argument for a steep reduction in its tax burden, an effort it said could help turn the tide on the state’s flailing coal sector.The trade association hopes the West Virginia legislature will cut the coal severance tax rate from 5% to 2% to increase the state’s competitiveness with neighboring coal-producing states that have little to no severance tax. Sean O’Leary, an analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, was critical of the study. He said the paper overemphasizes the actual market impact of the severance tax and misidentifies West Virginia coal’s competitors.“We’re not competing with Maryland and Ohio, we’re competing with Wyoming and Montana and Illinois,” O’Leary said. “That argument doesn’t really hold a whole lot of weight, particularly when you look that where we’re losing our market share, we’re losing it to states that have higher taxes.”He added that at a time when there is a budget shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, largely due to decreased severance tax collections, the study lacks a critical examination of the resulting revenue shortfall. O’Leary said lawmakers would be unlikely to support much in the way of a tax cut as “we have no revenue to give away.” The WVCBP analysis of 2015 numbers showed a cost of $220 million to the state budget if the severance tax was reduced by the amount proposed by the WVCA.“That’s going to result in spending cuts at the state level, or they’re going to have to get that revenue from elsewhere,” O’Leary said.O’Leary said it is also bizarre the study assumes that a 3% tax reduction would result in a 3% coal production increase. He says the figure is not only not explained in the report, but also inconsistent with studies done on the impact of severance taxes on production, which he said is usually present, but minimal.“It models an increase in coal production would increase jobs and that’s kind of self-evident, but their assumption for that is that a 3% cut in the severance tax rate would be a 3% increase in production,” O’Leary said. “There’s just nothing to support that. I just don’t know where that came from.”Full article ($): W.Va. coal group trumpets study in call for steep severance tax relieflast_img read more

Improper passing leads to Franklin County crash

first_imgCedar Grove, In. — Accident investigators in Franklin County say improper passing resulted in a crash that injured a Laurel man Tuesday.Police say around 11:30 a car driven by Cortney Miley, 24, of Brookville, was attempting to pass a vehicle driven by Walter Allen, 45, of Laurel, On U.S. 52 east of Cedar Grove. As Miley began to pass she hit an eastbound car driven by Joyce Sacksteder, of Cedar Grove, head on.Allen drove into a deep ditch and rolled. He was transported to Margaret Mary Health in Batesville for treatment. Miley and Sacksteder refused treatment at the scene.last_img read more