PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia counties have reported an increase in revenues generated by coal severance taxes.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that a reduction in regulations impacting the coal industry has increased the revenues from the state's coal severance tax.

A severance tax applies to the extraction of natural resources and generally defrays related infrastructure projects. All West Virginia counties benefit from the tax, but 75 percent of net proceeds are distributed to coal-producing counties, while the remaining proceeds are distributed to the rest, based on population.

Mercer County Clerk Verlin Moye says installments have reflected a 30 percent increase from the previous year, while overall tax collections have been down.

McDowell County Commission President Gordon Lambert says increased coal severance money has helped restore a pay cut to county employees.

___

Information from: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, http://www.bdtonline.com