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 This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.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

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 17,712.66
+34.43 (0.19%)    
2 S&P 2,061.02
+4.87 (0.24%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,891.22
+27.86 (0.57%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5485

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5234

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5050

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 4969

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4175

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 3938

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13315

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11513

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 27, 2015 5485

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 27, 2015 2414

MPD Searching for Man Accused of Nearly Running…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 27, 2015 2397

Family Loses Possessions, Dog in Sugg Street Fire

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 28, 2015 2036

Young Child Dies in Princeton Fire

by Chris Rogers, KSP
March 27, 2015 1596

Hopkins Grand Jury Indictments Handed Down

by Karen McKnight
March 27, 2015 1443

Rehabber Explains Her Mission; Efforts Filmed by…

by Ron Sanders
March 27, 2015 1262

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
March 27, 2015 1236

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 27,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 28, 2015 1090

Tractor Trailer Takes Out Guardrail on I-69,…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 1064

Utility Tax Petition Signatures Put Choice before…

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News