Billionaire coal exec running for West Virginia governor owes millions in back taxes
A billionaire coal executive, who recently left the Republican party to run for West Virginia’s governorship, owes close to $4 million in back taxes, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Jim Justice, who controls multiple coal companies in Kentucky, is currently $3.5 million behind on property taxes and fines owed to some of Kentucky’s poorer communities.
Justice, with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion, is a political neophyte who switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party earlier this year.
Speaking for his father, Jay Justice said his dad would be taking care of all of his tax obligations — dating back to 2013 — saying, ” “We will make good on all our obligations in Kentucky.”
This is not the first time Justice has had Kentucky come after him for money owed.
In August 2014, Justice was cited for violations at mines he owns in Eastern Kentucky and agreed to post $10.6 million in bonds to fix the problems after reaching a deal with the state.
Justice also agreed to pay $1.5 million in fines — down from the $4.4 million he was assessed as part of his agreement.
According to Dick Brown, a spokesperson for the state of Kentucky, Justice has posted the required reclamation bonds and has paid $950,000 in payments towards the $1.5 million fine, and is current at the moment.
In West Virginia, Justice is notable for his contributions towards youth sports as well as rescuing The Greenbrier, a venerable resort mired in bankruptcy. After purchasing it in 2009 for $20 million, he spent millions more adding a casino, medical facility and football field, while hanging onto an annual PGA Tour golf tournament.