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Introduced Version Senate Bill 21 History

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Senate Bill No. 21

(By Senators Helmick, Barnes, Sypolt and D. Facemire)

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[Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §31-15A-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to dedication of severance tax proceeds; specifying a minimum share of coalbed methane severance tax revenue be distributed to producing counties in an amount at least equal to the share received by nonproducing counties; specifying the distribution method for severance tax revenues for coalbed methane-producing and nonproducing counties; and specifying computation.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §31-15A-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 15A. WEST VIRGINIA INFRASTRUCTURE AND JOBS DEVELOPMENT                 ACT.

§31-15A-16. Dedication of severance tax proceeds.

    (a) There shall be dedicated an annual amount from the collections of the tax collected pursuant to article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code for the construction, extension, expansion, rehabilitation, repair and improvement of water supply and sewage treatment systems and for the acquisition, preparation, construction and improvement of sites for economic development in this state as provided in this article.

    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, beginning on July 1, 1995, the first $16 million of the tax collected pursuant to article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code shall be deposited to the credit of the West Virginia Infrastructure General Obligation Debt Service Fund created pursuant to section three, article fifteen-b of this chapter: Provided, That beginning on July 1, 1998, the first $24 million of the tax annually collected pursuant to article thirteen-a of this code shall be deposited to the credit of the West Virginia Infrastructure General Obligation Debt Service Fund created pursuant to section three, article fifteen-b of this chapter.

    © Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (b) of this section to the contrary: (1) None of the collections from the tax imposed pursuant to section six, article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code shall be so dedicated or deposited; and (2) the portion of the tax imposed by article thirteen-a, chapter eleven and dedicated for purposes of Medicaid and the Division of Forestry pursuant to section twenty-a of said article thirteen-a shall remain dedicated for the purposes set forth in said section twenty-a.

    (d) On or before May 1 of each year, commencing May 1, 1995, the council, by resolution, shall certify to the Treasurer and the Water Development Authority the principal and interest coverage ratio and amount for the following fiscal year on any infrastructure general obligation bonds issued pursuant to the provisions of article fifteen-b of this chapter.

    (e) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, prior to the deposit of the proceeds of the tax on coalbed methane remitted by the Tax Commissioner for deposit in the West Virginia Infrastructure Fund pursuant to section twenty-a, article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code, shall be distributed as follows the Tax Commissioner shall undertake the following calculations:

    (1) Seventy-five percent of the moneys so to be deposited shall be distributed provisionally allocated for infrastructure projects in the various counties of this state in which the coalbed methane was produced; and

    (2) The remaining twenty-five percent of the moneys so to be deposited shall be distributed provisionally allocated equally to the various counties of this state in which no coalbed methane was produced for infrastructure projects in accordance with subsection h of this section.

    (3) Moneys shall be distributed provisionally allocated to each coalbed methane producing county in direct proportion to the amount of tax revenues derived from coalbed methane production in paid by the county. using information provided by the Tax Commissioner as required in section twenty-a, article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code

    (4) Portional adjustments.

    (A) If, for any year, a coalbed methane producing county’s share of money provisionally allocated to that county is computed to be an amount that is less than the amount provisionally allocated to each of the coalbed methane nonproducing counties, then for purposes of the computations set forth in this subsection, that coalbed methane producing county shall be redesignated a coalbed methane nonproducing county. The money that has been provisionally allocated to that coalbed methane producing county out of the seventy-five percent portion specified in subdivision (1) of this section shall be subtracted out of the seventy-five percent portion specified in subdivision (1) and added to the twenty-five percent portion specified in subdivision (2).  (B) When the adjustment specified in paragraph (A) of this subdivision (4) has been made for each coalbed methane producing county that has been redesignated as a coalbed methane nonproducing county, then the Tax Department shall finalize the calculations of the amounts to be made available for distribution by the council to the coalbed methane producing counties that have not been redesignated as coalbed methane nonproducing counties under this subdivision (4) as follows: The amount remaining in the provisional seventy-five percent portion specified in subdivision (1), as adjusted in accordance with paragraph (A) of this subdivision (4), shall be allocated, in direct proportion to the amount that tax revenues derived from coalbed methane production in each such county not redesignated as a coalbed methane nonproducing county bears to the total amount of tax revenues derived from coalbed methane production in all coalbed methane producing counties that have not been redesignated as a coalbed methane nonproducing county.

    (C) The Tax Commission shall then finalize the calculation of the total amount in the twenty-five percent portion specified in subdivision (2), as adjusted in accordance with paragraph (A) of this subdivision (4).

    (f) In addition to providing a breakdown of coalbed methane taxes paid and amount of coalbed methane produced by county, the Tax Commissioner shall provide to the Council the preliminary and final calculations undertaken pursuant to subsection (e) of this section when depositing the amount of tax on coalbed methane in the West Virginia Infrastructure Fund pursuant to section twenty-a, article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code.

    (g) In no case may the total amount distributed in any fiscal year to the aggregate of all coalbed methane producing counties and all coalbed methane nonproducing counties calculated by the Tax Commissioner exceed the amount of tax on coalbed methane remitted by the Tax Commissioner for deposit in the West Virginia Infrastructure Fund pursuant to section twenty-a, article thirteen-a, chapter eleven of this code for the year.

    (h) Distribution by council.

    (1) For funds attributable to coalbed methane producing counties, the Water Development Authority shall distribute the moneys in the form of grants to Project sponsors in each of those counties in accordance with the calculations provided by the Tax Department in subsection (e) of this section for Projects approved by the council. The council may award all or part of the amounts available for one or more Projects, based on applications made by Project sponsors in coalbed methane producing counties pursuant to the provisions of this article.

    (2) For funds attributable to coalbed methane nonproducing counties after subsection (e) adjustments, the Water Development Authority shall make the total amount of moneys calculated pursuant to subsection (e) of this section available in the form of grants to Project sponsors from one or more of the coalbed methane nonproducing counties for Projects approved by the council. The council may award all or part of the amounts available for Project sponsors for one or more Projects, based on applications made by Project sponsors from coalbed methane nonproducing counties pursuant to the provisions of this article.

    (i) Projects from counties that are deemed coalbed methane producing counties by the Tax Department are not eligible for distribution of moneys pursuant to subdivision two of subsection h of this section: Provided, That the council may continue to consider a pending application of a Project sponsor from a coalbed methane nonproducing county that is subsequently deemed a coalbed methane producing county by the Tax Commissioner.

    (j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the moneys remitted by the Tax Department to the West Virginia Infrastructure Fund are not subject to the provisions of section eleven of this article and are not to be considered by the Council when determining the amount of moneys that may disbursed from the infrastructure fund in the form of grants pursuant to the provisions of section ten of this article.

    (k) The moneys remitted by the Tax Department on the October 1, 2010 for coalbed methane Project sponsors in nonproducing coalbed methane counties for infrastructure projects that have not been distributed shall not be distributed to Project sponsors in those counties but instead shall be available for distribution for Projects pursuant to the provisions of subdivision two of subsection h of this section.



 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to specify that a minimum share of coalbed methane severance tax revenue be distributed to producing counties in an amount at least equal to the share received by nonproducing counties and that the distribution method for severance tax revenues for coalbed methane producing and nonproducing counties be used.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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