The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 19, 2014

Estimate: Less coal severance tax next year

Tennant believes county will get ‘roughly the same amount’

FAIRMONT — In the 2014-15 fiscal year, the Marion County Commission is estimating that the county will receive less coal severance tax than in the previous year.

According to the Marion County Commission’s final budget revision that was passed June 11, revenue generated from the coal severance tax is estimated at $1,275,877 for the 2014-15 fiscal year. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, $2.8 million was generated from the coal severance tax.

Commission President Butch Tennant said the number on the budget is just an estimation. He said Marion County has two operating coal mines, and he believes they are doing well.

“Loveridge has just hired, and I know Robinson Run is hiring,” Tennant said.

Tennant said he’s hoping by the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, the numbers will be the same as they were this year.

“I would say by the end of the year we’ll have roughly the same amount,” he said.

The estimate for the 2014-15 fiscal year is lower than the grand total for this year, but Tennant said that’s due to Consol idling operations. Tennant said now the company’s operations are running seven days a week.

According to the budget, $121,700 is estimated to be generated by the gas and oil severance tax in the 2014-15 fiscal year. A total of around $111,000 was generated this fiscal year.

Tennant said he expects more than that $121,700 to be generated by the gas and oil severance tax. He said the commission didn’t realize it would be this quick of a turnaround for the oil and gas industry.

“I bet it will be at least triple that,” he said. “They’re starting to produce here in Marion County. We thought that it would be late 2015 before they really started producing, but some of them have already started producing.”

Tennant said the way the commission budgeted its money was to make sure the county would be in the black at the end of the year. That’s what happened this fiscal year, and the county ended the year with money left over even after a $1.2 million renovation to Palatine Park.

Tennant said with the budget in the black, the county has been able to save money and will use it the following year.

Tennant said that by budgeting, the commissioners have been able to help the communities of Marion County as well as the fire departments. He said five or six years ago, the county was giving the fire departments in the county around $3,000 each, and now it gives them around $17,000 each.

The commission also budgeted $12,493,973 for general fund revenues in the 2014-15 fiscal year, just $300,000 less than what was generated this fiscal year.

In the next fiscal year, Tennant said one project that will be in progress is Phase 2 of the Palatine Park renovations.

The next fiscal year begins July 1.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

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