WV Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Part of State Severance Tax

Politicians who keep promises? Consider us thunderstruck. It’s actually happened in West Virginia. In January MDN told you that WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had proposed reducing the oil and gas severance tax (see WV Gov. Tomblin Proposes to LOWER Oil & Gas Severance Tax). Here’s the back story: In 2005, before he was Governor, Tomblin was President of the WV Senate. At that time the WV legislature passed an extra fee on top of the existing severance tax–a fee of 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas (along with a fee on coal extraction). The fee was to be used to pay down the state’s old workers’ compensation debts. Tomblin promised that once the debt was paid, the fee would be lifted. “Yeah, right” was the reaction. However, the debt is now nearly paid, and Tomblin has kept his promise. The WV Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill (SB) 419 that will lift the extra fee…

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