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

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.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...

38th Annual Special Populations Fishing Tournament to be Held at Honker Lake

KENTUCKY (4/26/15) — Kentucky Lake Bass Club and the Knights of Columbus of Aurora will sponsor the 38th Annual Special… Read More

18th Annual Jeep Jamboree Returns to Turkey Bay

KENTUCKY (4/25/15) — Jeep owners will soon travel to Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area at Land Between The Lakes for… Read More
1 DOW 18,080.14
+21.45 (0.12%)    
2 S&P 2,117.69
+4.76 (0.23%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,092.08
+36.02 (0.71%)    

Most Read This Week

April 17, 2015 12284

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 7623

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 5816

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 20, 2015 4926

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 24, 2015 4227

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 12284

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8841

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 25, 2015 1294

Above and Beyond: Wade Simons

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 1023

Elementary Girls in Good GRACES with Unique…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 892

Planning Commission Approves Zoning Amendments…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 848

Superheroes ‘Bowl for Kids Sake’

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 741

Focus on Hopkins County: Interview with Sheriff…

by Tim Thomas
April 25, 2015 711

Webster County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
April 25, 2015 626

Tobacco Quitline Callers Eligible for Extra…

by Beth Fisher
April 26, 2015 606

New Drug Helps Farmer with Parkinson's Return to…

by Laura Dawahare
April 25, 2015 581

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 569

Keeping the Faith - 'To Die Trying'

by Ronnie McBrayer