On March 27, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill to gradually drop West Virginia’s severance tax on steam coal from 5 percent to 3 percent over the next three fiscal years. By year three, this will cost the state an estimated $60 million in revenue annually.
Supporters of the bill said it would help the state’s steam, or thermal, coal mines compete, while opponents argued it would benefit out-of-state companies and cost West Virginians needed services.
The governor also signed a bill granting a 35 percent tax credit for cost of new equipment for coal companies that expand or open new mining operations. – By Molly Moore