CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Delegate Rupie Phillips, D-Logan, said he is lead sponsor of a bill that will aid property owners in communities hard-hit by the decline in the coal industry.
House Bill 4501 was introduced Thursday, February 11, in the House of Delegates. The bill is designed to help home and vehicle owners in struggling communities avoid increases in their property tax bills. It would do this by freezing the value of property assessments in counties with recent sharp declines in employment due to businesses closures or workforce reductions.
“People in coal mining communities are suffering from the job losses caused by President Obama’s War on Coal,” Delegate Phillips said. “Even those who have found other work aren’t making what they used to – they’ve gone from a mining job that paid maybe $70,000 to $80,000 to maybe a service job that pays only $30,000 to $40,000. Meanwhile, people still have to pay for the home and vehicles they bought while they were making good money in the mines.
“Our communities are depressed, yet property taxes keep going up, adding insult to injury,” Phillips said. “That’s why I introduced this bill to help people get a little relief from these increases while they are working hard to get back on their feet.”
House Bill 4501 has been referred to the House Political Subdivisions Committee and the Finance Committee for consideration.