By Samantha Perry
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Courtesy of WV Press Association
Tazewell County officials have seized more than $850,000 of equipment at a coal mine owned by West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice for failure to pay property taxes.
Tazewell County Treasurer David Larimer said the distress/seizure warrant was executed after the county did not receive payment of $850,000 in property taxes that were due in December.
Justice owns three coal mines in Tazewell County, Justice Lowseam Mining Inc., Black River Coal LLC and Chestnut Land Holdings LLC, Larimer said, noting all of these fall under The Justice Group.
“We did the seizure on all of the equipment at Black River,” Larimer said. The mine is located just outside of Bandy, Va.
The seizure was executed Wednesday by deputies with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office and Larimer.
Larimer said the taxes were due in December, and a second notice was sent out in January stating that the taxes needed to be paid by Feb. 19.
The county received no response to the notice, he said.
“For the past two years they paid the taxes, but they paid them late,” Larimer said.
He said company attorneys reached out to the county and set up a payment plan for taxes for 2013 and 2014.
“Taxes for 2013 were paid in full June 14, 2014,” Larimer said. “The 2014 taxes were due Dec. 5, and they paid those in full in July of 2015.”
Larimer said on these occasions attorneys called the county and set up payment plans over a five- to six-month period.
“This time they have not contacted us or notified us that they want to be on a payment plan,” he said.
According to the warrant, items seized included “machinery and tools/business personal property.”
Justice, a billionaire and owner of the famed Greenbrier Resort, is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of West Virginia.