Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

January 10, 2013

Job-killer

Ending coal tax credit would hurt mine industry

Gov. Martin O’Malley repeatedly touts job creation for Maryland. Our hope is he will consider the negative impact on jobs that would likely occur should the state’s coal tax credit disappear.

This will be the third year that the state has attempted to get rid of the tax credit. Fortunately, the legislation got bottled up in the House of Delegates last year and failed to make its way to the governor's desk.

Public service companies and a few other designated firms receive a $3-per-ton credit for purchasing coal that is mined in Maryland. The credit cannot pay a company anything over its liability for the year; it can only apply up to the limit of the tax liability. The public service providers then rebate part of their savings back to coal companies based on their contracts with the companies.

For Allegany and Garrett counties, the tax credit is a big deal. Sixteen mines are in operation in the state, and Maryland stands 30th among the states in coal use.

The state’s mining industry employs 600 people directly in the state and creates another 3,000 spin-off jobs, according to Adrienne Ottaviani, executive director of the Maryland Coal Association.

The state has the tax credit in its crosshairs because of the amount of revenue at stake.

The bill’s fiscal policy note states that the Maryland general fund would increase by $4.5 million in fiscal 2013 if the coal tax credit is repealed. The tax credit is supposed to run through fiscal 2021 and between that year and this one, $34.5 million in tax credits would be given out.

But helping out the state’s coffers would come at a steep price to the local economy and local workers. Is it really worth jeopardizing a high number of jobs at a time when Western Maryland’s economy continues to be on near life-support?

This year’s version of the coal tax credit repeal is contained in House Bill 11, pre-filed by Delegate Herb McMillan of Anne Arundel County.

The local delegation in Annapolis has vigorously opposed the coal tax credit repeal for two straight years. It will speak out against the repeal again this year.

Mining employees and firms should add their opposition to the legislation and let members of the General Assembly know about the consequences should the bill become law.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Wildfires Wildfires

    The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Support the March for Babies May 3 at Canal Place

    At the March of Dimes, we promise to work tirelessly toward the day when all babies are born healthy.
    The March of Dimes has worked for more than 75 years to help babies get a healthy start in life.

    April 20, 2014

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014