FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – With the cutting back of the coal industry, the Coal Severance Tax is also drastically being cut back, a financial force that has always proven dependable throughout West Virginia. These declining tax dollars gives local governments less money for annual budget requests, an issue that recently has become a significant burden on the Humane Society.
“About a little over a week ago, the commission had a meeting, and they finalized their budget that they were submitting to the state auditor’s office, and in that budget they were only allocating 35-percent of what we had requested for the coming fiscal year,” says New River Humane Society’s Board President Kathy Gerencer.
This budget is used to pay the animal shelter’s eight employees. And while the Coal Severance Tax has been on the decline for several years now, the Humane Society hopes the Fayette County Commission can find other ways to help fund them like they have done in the past.
“We’ve been through this for three years now, and Coal Severance seems to be the main issue, but we have urged the county to look beyond Coal Severance and look for other ways they can fund us, as we certainly provide a great service to the county and community members and it’s very important that our funding be met,” she says.
Besides the allocation of funds the county disperses to the shelter to pay its employees, the Humane Society relies mainly on other outside sources to help keep them afloat.
“All other supplies, the pet food, kitty litter, medical bills, vaccinations, cleaning and office supplies, transportation costs, that’s all expenses that we have to fundraise for, and certainly that’s what we do.”
The county is aware how crucial the Humane Society’s services are, and despite a lower amount of funds to work with, they are willing to discuss other sources of funds to help pay the shelter’s employees. A public meeting will be held over ZOOM tomorrow April 7th to discuss other possible ways the county commission can help financially support the New River Humane Society during this time. For further information on this, contact Tom Louisos by text at (304)222-4429.