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Report: W.Va. Legislature passes bills to lower coal tax, create rebate

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Report: W.Va. Legislature passes bills to lower coal tax, create rebate

Two bills intended to benefit coal producers in West Virginia received final legislative approval on March 9 and now await the signature of Republican Gov. Jim Justice, whose family owns several coal companies in Appalachia.

One of the bills would reduce the severance tax on thermal coal from 5% to 3% over three years, the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail reported. Doing so would reduce state tax revenue by about $20 million the first year and $60 million annually once fully implemented.

The other measure would make coal companies eligible for a 35% tax rebate on new equipment purchased to open or expand mining operations.

Justice has 15 days to act on both bills, according to the West Virginia Legislature's website.

His office did not respond to a request for comment on the bills by this article's publication.