FOLKS no doubt have differing views of former West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw's legacy.
I believe his most significant accomplishment was driving payday lenders out of the state and keeping others from moving in.
First American Cash Advance opened its first office in West Virginia in 2001. That same year Larry Kugler, president of First American Cash Advance's corporate parent, told me his company's typical loan was about 15 days and the annual percentage rate was 425 percent.
Companies like First American exploited holes in the web of bank regulations to offer such outrageous rates. By 2002 First American had eight offices around West Virginia.
McGraw doggedly fought the payday loan industry at every turn - and won.
Speaking of McGraw's legacy, in my view his biggest flop was his occasional investigation of high gasoline prices.
Some years ago I asked McGraw about this. He said the federal government allows the oil companies to share price information and, therefore, nothing can be done at the state level.
■ ■ ■
Last week's column about West Virginia's income tax touched some readers' nerves.
Barry Brasseur wrote, "As I sit here and read your column about the Governor bragging about not raising taxes I had to bite my lip.
"If you believe what the Kanawha County Assessor's Office is preaching in your same newspaper, that the state is pressuring counties to raise property taxes in order to bring in more revenue, then he is in fact presiding over people's taxes going up as much as 45 percent in what I and many of my friends call the keyboard appraisals," Brasseur wrote.