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West Virginia Senate Finance Committee tackles two bills


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Sen. Bill Ihlenfeld, D-Ohio, raises questions about the price of a severance tax cut for steam coal during a Senate Finance Committee meeting Wednesday.
(News and Sentinel photo by Steven Allen Adams)

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — Two bills that would put a financial hole in the tax revenue starting next fiscal year were taken up by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday afternoon.

House Bill 2673 would exempt low-producing oil and natural gas wells from paying severance taxes, with that money instead going to a fund to plug abandoned oil and natural gas wells. House Bill 3142 would lower the severance tax rate for steam coal over three years.

The Senate Finance Committee amended HB 3142 to change how the severance tax is reduced. The committee amendment spreads the 2 percent decrease over three years, from 5 percent to 3 percent by fiscal year 2022. Fiscal year 2020 would drop to 35 percent of the 2 percent, fiscal year 2021 would drop to 65 percent of the 2 percent, with the full 2 percent coming off in fiscal year 2022.

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