Report: WV governor’s companies owe $2M Virginia tax debt

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s companies owe almost $2 million in delinquent taxes in Virginia, according to records obtained by WDBJ-TV .

The Roanoke-based station reported Wednesday that companies owned by the Republican governor owe $1.9 million in taxes to several counties in Virginia.

Justice lists more than 100 businesses in his most recent financial disclosure statement, including coal, timber and agriculture companies. He has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion.

A representative for the Justice companies issued a statement to The Associated Press saying the businesses “are completely committed and actively working to resolve all tax disputes and liabilities.”

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The station says it first obtained documents showing more than $2 million in debts but some of the delinquencies were paid off after it reached out to the companies for comment.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Justice has been dogged by allegations of outstanding debts and fines related to his businesses.

Earlier this week he signed a bill approving a tax break for a struggling coal-fired power plant whose operator has an ongoing federal lawsuit alleging one of Justice’s companies owes it $3.1 million. He said that he didn’t know about the case and it’s insulting to suggest there was any impropriety.

In June, one of Justice’s companies agreed to pay a $1.23 million court-ordered sanction related to an unpaid fine. That same month, his coal companies promised to pay huge property tax debts to some counties in eastern Kentucky.

Federal prosecutors sued nearly two dozen of Justice’s coal companies in May to get them to pay about $4.8 million in unpaid mine safety fines.

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