The fallout from the Obama Administration's eight year War on Coal continues to play havoc with the state's budget as the monthly coal severance collections took another tumble in October. According to the latest information from the state Department of Tax and Revenue, October revenues were $23.8 million below estimates, with fiscal -year-to-date collections $91.6 million below projections.
Compared to Department estimates, coal severance revenues were down 41% for the first quarter of the fiscal year. In addition, natural gas severance revenues were off by more than 35% and oil severance was down 59%, when compared to last year’s (2014) levels. All other natural resources’ severance revenues were down 68%.
Last month’s revenue numbers prompted a mid-year budget cut of four percent by the Tomblin administration and a one percent reduction in the state school aid formula. Department of Tax and Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said, “they hope they’ll not have to do that again,” but added that “if they do need to take such a drastic step it will have to happen quickly once the legislature is in session”.