Idle coal mining equipment tax may affect local budgets

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Local government entities such as cities and public school systems could lose some tax funding after West Virginia officials decreased the tax rate for temporarily idled coal mining equipment.

Property Tax Division director Jeff Amburgey says the change affects mining equipment that’s expected to start back up again. Lawmakers such as former senator Art Kirkendoll have said a lower tax rate may encourage companies to keep equipment in West Virginia mines.

Former Raleigh County Assessor Drema Evans, who left the position last week, tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail her office’s preliminary estimates indicate that the change will bring about a $1 million countywide tax revenue decrease, leading to less funding for local governments.

Amburgey said he couldn’t provide statewide effect figures.

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