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West Virginia Board of Public Works rejects Appalachian Power’s tax cut request


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Gov. Jim Justice haads a state Board of Public Works meeting at the state Capitol Thursday afternoon.
(Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Without discussion, the West Virginia Board of Public Works on Thursday unanimously approved previously recommended 2018 assessed values for property owned by utilities operating in the state — effectively rejecting a request by Appalachian Power Co. to lower its assessment on the grounds that unusually mild weather had hurt its earnings in 2017.

Gov. Jim Justice presided at the brief meeting, which put to rest a firestorm of controversy over the power company’s request for tax relief at a time when the recent cold snap is leaving many consumers with unusually high electric bills.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper, a leading critic of Appalachian Power’s request, said afterward that he is pleased with the board’s resolution of the matter.
“The credit goes to Governor Justice,” Carper said. “He pays electric bills, too.”

Carper said the County Commission had fielded more calls and complaints about Appalachian Power’s request than any other single issue during his tenure.

“People are struggling to pay their power bills right now,” he said. “This, to me, was beyond the pale.”

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