W. Va. Coal, Natural Gas Tax Collections Top Estimates

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s tax collections from coal and natural gas production in March topped $40 million, exceeding original budget estimates by $13 million and showing some recovery from last year.

State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy says that gain was partly offset by corporate net income tax, consumer sales tax and business and occupation taxes that were more than $8 million below estimates altogether.

Hardy says they are still projecting an overall budget shortfall of about $123 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow says the comeback in extraction tax receipts came from increases in natural gas prices that raised demand for power plant coal while the state has also seen an uptick in demand for metallurgical coal used to make steel.