WV Severance Tax Doubles in 2014, 90% Disappears in Charleston

money disappearingWow–who woulda thunk? Drillers in West Virginia paid double the amount of revenue in severance taxes in 2014 than they did in 2013–a total of $188 million. Those numbers are approaching the total haul for the tax/impact fee in Pennsylvania (a little over $200 million each year). But there’s a big difference between the revenue raised in WV and PA. In PA, 60% of the revenue raised stays local with the towns and counties where drilling occurs, and 40% goes to the state and other geographies. We call the 40% “walking around money” (i.e. extortion) that politicians had to agree to in order to get any kind of deal done that remotely approaches common sense. In WV however, an eye-popping 90% of the severance revenue raised goes to the state–to disappear through politicians’ fingers–while a meager 7.5% stays in the counties that see drilling…

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