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Excerpt: Governor William C. Marland proposes the severance tax

    "For the past fifty years, we have seen our natural resources exploited, in many cases extravagantly and wastefully, by outside capital.  We should welcome the orderly development of our resources, but it seems to me only just that those things should be asked to furnish a substantial part of our revenue.  West Virginia has been endowed with great wealth in natural resources, and, in my opinion, some of that wealth should be invested in our two major problems of state government; namely roads and schools.  We can build West Virginia by building our educational facilities as investment in our children, who, after all, are our greatest resource for the future.  Building our highway system is an investment that will induce into our State industries to take the place of our depleting resources, and promote the growth of those we now have.
    "I speak, of course, of turning to the natural resources of West Virginia for a severance tax to carry out this program."

From Governor Marland's Message to the 51st Legislature, January 22, 1953.

Source: State Papers and Public Addresses of William C. Marland.

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