After years of delinquency, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says his family company’s overdue taxes and fines in the state have been cleared. But Justice offered no information on millions owed in Kentucky and other states. Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports.
West Virginia revenue officials say the debt obligations from Justice’s coal companies have been paid, including fines and taxes. Justice failed to say how much was owed and whether any of the amounts paid were reduced as part of negotiations.
The billionaire businessman-turned governor blamed the tax burden on a Russian company that bought mining interests from Justice in 2009 and sold them back to him in 2015. He says that company didn’t pay taxes.
But past reporting by NPR, Ohio Valley ReSource and Mine Safety & Health News found that Justice’s companies owed $15 million in taxes and fines in West Virginia and five other states. The October 2016 report showed those companies owed $4.71 million in West Virginia.
Justice promised to pay remaining obligations soon, but was not specific as to when.