By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Urged by Delegate Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, to take a cautionary approach to reducing the state severance tax on steam coal, the West Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday adopted Nelson’s amendment to phase in a reduction of the tax from 5 percent to 3 percent over two years.
“In the last two years, we’ve looked at lowering the severance tax, but we had a $400 million deficit two years ago, and last year, we had the pay raise issue,” said Nelson, who served as House Finance Committee chairman during that time.
Under Nelson’s amendment, the severance tax on steam coal, used primarily for electric power generation, would drop from 5 percent to 4 percent on July 1, and from 4 percent to 3 percent on July 1, 2020.
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