Cumberland Times-News

Letters

February 8, 2014

Jobs saved

Coal tax credit gets another year’s lease on life

Hundreds of Maryland coal mining employees will be breathing easier — at least for the coming year — now that the state’s coal tax credit appears to be safe.

It’s been an annual tussle in Annapolis as Gov. Martin O’Malley has sought to repeal the credit. But this year he did not include the tax repeal in his budget. Sen. George Edwards said that while it is still possible a senator or delegate could seek repeal of the tax, the chances of such an attempt succeeding are largely nil.

Calculating the credit is complicated but the basic principle is simple enough. Public service companies and a few other designated companies receive a $3-per-ton credit for purchasing Maryland-produced coal.

The credit cannot pay a company anything over its tax liability for the year; it can only apply up to the limit of the tax liability, according to a fiscal and policy note prepared by the Department of Legislative Services prepared in 2013 after a repeal bill was filed.

The tax credit is a big deal in far Western Maryland. As many as 400 people in Garrett County are employed in coal mining and mining directly employs 600 in the state.

The Maryland Coal Association estimates another 3,000 spin-off jobs rely on coal mining. According to the American Coal Foundation, more than $2 billion is pumped into the Maryland economy by the direct and indirect effects of coal production.

The tax credit has an expiration date of 2021. It would be a relief if when O’Malley leaves office the next governor simply decides to let the credit stand until its expiration.

Otherwise, local officials will have to continue the annual fight to protect the tax credit and the jobs that rely on its existence.

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Letters
  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014

  • Citizens should be more ready to deal with power failures

    An open letter to the electrical power companies in West Virginia and Maryland:
    The return of electrical power to my home recently, after its unexpected failure for approximately 48 hours, as a result of such a sudden and violent storm, reminded me anew of how much I take for granted.

    July 14, 2014

  • Scare tactics, misinformation abound regarding marijuana

    In response to Frank J. Clark’s well intentioned letter, “Don’t be too quick to legalize marijuana use,” July 10 Times-News), I believe that his letter misses the point of legalizing and regulating marijuana.

    July 12, 2014

  • Trading dollars for nickels just doesn’t make any sense

    Thank you for providing an opportunity for comments on the 2014 draft of the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

    July 10, 2014

  • Don’t be too quick to legalize marijuana use

    Perhaps our society should consider some facts before jumping on the bandwagon for legalizing recreational marijuana use.

    July 9, 2014

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