Thursday, June 16, 2011

Legislators Hear Proposal To Hike Severance Taxes, Create Permanent Fund

A liberal think tank in West Virginia is proposing that state lawmakers should increase severance taxes by $100 million year. The proposal, which was put forth to lawmakers during an interim committee meeting this week, was advanced by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. The center is calling for a 1 percentage point increase in the state’s severance tax on the extraction and production of coal, oil and natural gas. That would raise $100 million in its first year, and the money would be directed into a "Severance Tax Permanent Fund". The group projected that this fund could grow over 25 years to become several billions of dollars, may be used to pay off the state’s long-term pension debt obligations.

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