coalmine 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (7/11/13) – State Representatives Fitz Steele and Leslie Combs pre-filed legislation today that would return all coal-severance tax dollars to the counties that actually produce the coal.
 
“Just this week, we saw where these taxes dropped more than a fifth during last fiscal year, and with the president’s announcement a few weeks ago that even more coal-killing regulations are on the way, this figure is all but guaranteed to drop even more,” said Rep. Steele, D-Hazard, the bill’s principle sponsor. “Our coal counties are hurting, and if they are going to survive, they need this money. They’ve certainly earned it.”
 
“While no one is questioning the value of the many programs funded by coal-severance dollars, the truth is that by the time the coal counties get their share, the flow of money has dwindled to a trickle,” said Rep. Combs, D-Pikeville, the prime co-sponsor. “While we hope otherwise, it appears that we’re entering a new age when it comes to coal, and we need all of this revenue to help us make that transition.”
 
Both legislators were the sole sponsors of a similar bill during this year’s legislative session, but said that it will be more relevant next year, when the General Assembly adopts the state’s two-year budget.
 
 According to budget officials, coal severance revenue declined from $298.3 million in the 2012 fiscal year to $230.5 million in 2013 – a 22.7 percent decline.
 
Under current law, several programs are funded “off the top,” and what remains is then split equally between the state and the coal counties. A complex formula then dictates how the local portion is budgeted for individual coal counties and many other programs.
 
“The coal counties have more than paid their fair share over the 40 years of the coal-severance program, so the time has come to tip that balance the other way,” Rep. Steele said. “No one can question the need, and we have the vision on what should be done. All we need is a way to pay for it, and Leslie’s and my bill provides the way. It’s time has come.”
 
The General Assembly will consider the legislation during the 2014 Regular Session, which begins in January. Here is a link to the pre-filed bill: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/14rs/HB15.htm
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Brian Wilkerson

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

MLES Honored by AHA with 'Fit Friendly' Award

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (5/23/15) — Meadow Lands Elementary School has earned the American Heart Association's Gold Level… Read More

AHS, DCHS Earn Silver Awards on U.S. News and World Report High School Rankings

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (5/24/15) — Apollo and Daviess County high schools are among the top high schools in Kentucky as… Read More
1 DOW 18,232.02
-53.72 (-0.29%)    
2 S&P 2,126.06
-4.76 (-0.22%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,089.36
-1.43 (-0.03%)    

Most Read This Week

May 22, 2015 6556

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News
May 19, 2015 5888

Owensboro Health Proposes Building $15M Health…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 5570

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 18, 2015 4295

Madisonville Man Wanted for Attempted Murder in…

by SurfKY News
May 19, 2015 3841

Two Charged with Marijuana Possession after…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 10502

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 15, 2015 7412

Investigation of Local Barber Shop Leads to Drug…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 23, 2015 5570

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 22, 2015 1220

MPD Seeks Three in Residential Robbery

by SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 1202

Elks BBQ Fundraiser Quick Sell Out

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 855

Health Department Food Scores Released

by SurfKY News
May 24, 2015 789

MCC's Felicia Johnson Receives State KCTCS Award

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 767

'Cooking for the Cure' Fundraiser Brings Out…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 759

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 702

Scientists Meet in Louisville to Share Research…

by Betty Coffman
May 23, 2015 572

Sunday Alcohol Sales Discussion Tabled to Next…

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 550

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet…

by Ricki C. Gardenhire