Budget Beat

July 1, 2015 by Ted Boettner
Yes, We Should Tax Coal Property Like Natural Gas Property

On Monday, the Joint Select Committee on Taxation met again to discuss revising our state's tax system. The focus of this meeting was on local property taxation, especially as it impacts the coal and natural gas industries. During the meeting, John Mairs, a lawyer for the coal industry, stated that he "would love to have…

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November 19, 2014 by Ted Boettner
7 Things You Need to Know About Why Coal is Declining in West Virginia (4 of 7)

In the last post, we looked at how West Virginia - especially southern West Virginia -  is being out-competed by other coal regions because of the decline in coal mining productivity that makes it cheaper to produce coal in places like Illinois and Wyoming. Not only do West Virginia coal producers face stiff competition from…

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October 28, 2014 by Ted Boettner
7 Things You Need to Know About Why Coal is Declining in West Virginia (2 of 7)

In the last post, I showed that the decline in coal production was heavily concentrated in the southern part of the state. While there are many factors at play, none is probably more important than this one.#2 lower productivity is at heart of coal decline in W.Va.If you want to understand why West Virginia and…

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October 23, 2014 by Ted Boettner
7 Things You Need to Know About Why Coal is Declining in West Virginia (1 of 7)

West Virginia's coal economy is not what it used to be. In 2013, coal production hit a 30-year low and employment in the industry fell to a nine-year low. While the coal industry and other like-minded people have put most, if not all, of the blame on President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency's "war…

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July 1, 2014 by Ted Boettner
Why is West Virginia GDP Up and Employment Down? Fracking?

Workforce West Virginia recently released 2013 data on employment and wages that show West Virginia has about 7,000 fewer jobs (on average) in 2013 than it did in 2012. In contrast, two weeks ago the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released state data for real Gross Domestic Product growth that showed West Virginia's economy grew…

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March 6, 2014 by Ted Boettner
What Did the House Do to the Future Fund?

Yesterday, the House Judiciary and Finance Committees both amended and passed out  Senate Bill 461 and Senate Joint Resolution 14 that creates the West Virginia Future Fund. The amendments made several modifications to how much revenue will flow into the fund over time, how the principal of the fund is protected, and how the state…

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February 27, 2014 by Ted Boettner
The Future Fund Can Build a Better West Virginia

The West Virginia Senate has unanimously passed SB 461 that creates the West Virginia Future Fund and an accompanying resolution (SJR 14) to make the natural gas and oil severance tax fund constitutionally protected (inviolate). As most readers know, the WVCBP has championed the idea for several years and we are excited the state is…

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December 23, 2013 by Ted Boettner
Coal Production Shifting to Northern West Virginia

Nothing highlights the shift in Appalachian coal production more than Boone and Marshall County, West Virginia. For as long as I can remember, Boone County was always #1 in coal production. Today,  Marshall County, which is located in the north-west part of the state, is the state's biggest coal producer at 17.2 million tons (compared…

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October 10, 2013 by Ted Boettner
Moving Toward an Energy Transition

The Charleston Gazette had another timely editorial on Monday (I've been out of town all week) urging West Virginians to embrace the state's changing energy economy by creating solutions for the ongoing transition. As the chart below highlights, coal production has declined markedly over the last decade while natural gas is at unprecedented levels. As…

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