Kentucky

Coal company tied to W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice to pay Kentucky county $400,000 for back taxes

Companies once controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family have faced millions in back taxes to five Eastern Kentucky counties.
Companies once controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family have faced millions in back taxes to five Eastern Kentucky counties. Associated Press File Photo

Floyd County is set to receive $400,000 under a deal to settle delinquent property taxes owed by a company once controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim. Justice.

Justice-family companies worked out a deal earlier to wipe out millions in delinquent property due to the state and four other Eastern Kentucky counties.

As part of that deal, the state and several of the counties waived penalties and interest that the companies owed on the delinquent tax debts.

Floyd County officials balked at a similar agreement because they were unwilling to waive 100 percent of the penalties and interest owed by a Justice company called Kentucky Fuel, said county Attorney Keith Bartley.

The company had delinquent taxes in the county totaling $671,000 from six years.

The county and Richard Getty, a Lexington attorney representing Kentucky Fuel and current controller Jay Justice, the governor’s son, ultimately reached a deal for the company to pay $400,000, with half of that due by Aug. 15, Bartley said.

The county received a $200,000 check dated Aug. 14. The rest is due in six monthly installments of $33,333.

Bartley said the original face amount of the delinquent Kentucky Fuel tax bills was about $313,000.

That means the company will be paying the principal and $87,000 worth of penalties and interest — the largest amount of penalties and interest on delinquent property-tax bills ever paid in the county, Bartley said.

Bartley said local officials were willing to accept less than the total amount Kentucky Fuel owed because of a concern that if the company filed for bankruptcy, the county could have had trouble collecting the company’s back taxes.

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