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Coal tax decline forces Boone County, W.Va., to slash jobs; more budget cuts expected

By Amelia Ferrell Knisely, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Boone County has slashed multiple government jobs in an effort to make up for a multimillion budget shortfall because of coal’s decline and the county’s subsequent population drop.

The personnel cuts will save the struggling Southern West Virginia county somewhere around $1 million, according to Boone Prosecutor Keith Randolph, but it’s not enough to make up for the entire projected shortfall.

“I think it’s an important step,” he said, “but I still believe we’re going to be off the mark.”

Randolph estimated the county still had more than $1 million to trim off its budget.

County commissioners last month mandated that governmental office leaders make 20 percent cuts to positions and benefits. It’s the second round of layoffs this summer in Boone — which, not too long ago, brought in a multi-million dollar surplus from coal tax revenue — in an effort to save money. …

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