More than $850,000 of equipment at a coal mine owned by West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice was seized on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The equipment was impounded for failure to pay property taxes.
A warrant was executed at Black River Coal LLC’s mine in Bandy, Virginia to seize the equipment because property taxes that were due in December were not paid. According the Tazewell County Treasurer David Larimer, the mine is one of three that Justice owns in the county. Tom Lusk, a spokesman for the Justice Group, says the company is disputing the tax assessment.
“The company is disputing the outrageous tax assessment on these idled mines,” Lusk said. “As the coal market improves, we are committed to working with the county on a fair assessment to reopen these mines and put coal miners back to work.”
Larimer confirmed the company did pay taxes in 2013 and 2014. But the payments were made late. Apparently the Justice Group did not respond to a notice sent in January setting a deadline of Feb. 19 for the 2015 taxes.