WV Weakens as Coal Severance Crumbles

The State Journal - County by county, West Virginia's coalfield communities are being forced to cut jobs, eliminate programs and slash benefits as they steadily collapse alongside the Mountain State's plummeting coal severance tax revenue. Read

Webster County Commissioner Jerry Hamrick is one of dozens of local leaders across the state's coal-reliant counties who is left with few options to revive his fading communities.

"We've cut budgets in all the departments and we're not funding any organizations like the fire departments or libraries or anything like that," Hamrick said. "We also had to make the employees start paying a share of their insurance.

"We're just keeping our head above water right now," he said. "It's a struggle every day to try to figure things out."

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