Former foes in agreement: West Virginia shorfall looms
In the recent election for West Virginia governor, supporters of the two candidates disagreed on many things. Now that the election is over, however, backers of both candidates are predicting a big budget shortfall they aren't sure how the state will cover. The first step for new Gov. Bob Wise is to make sure revenue estimates are as accurate as they can possibly be.
A spokesman for outgoing Gov. Cecil Underwood told The Associated Press that revenues for October were $11 million above estimates. But Sen. Leonard Anderson, one of Underwood's backers and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the shortfall could be $75 or $100 million.
Anderson, a Summers County Democrat, says the shortfall will come because controversy about mountaintop removal of coal will cut coal severance taxes. Unlike deep mines, mountaintop removal of coal is done with heavy construction equipment that literally chops the top off coal-containing mountains.