Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

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note states that the Maryland general fund would increase by $4.5 million in fiscal 2013 if the coal tax credit is repealed.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
Opinion
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • 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

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    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

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014