DUE TO HEAVY SNOWS IN WESTERN KENTUCKY...WIDESPREAD 6 TO 12 INCH SNOWFALL AMOUNTS HAVE HAULTED AREA TRAVEL. ISOLATED 15 INCH AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. DRIFTS UP TO A FOOT AND A HALF HAVE ALSO BEEN REPORTED. THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM SITUATION AND TRAVEL SHOULD BE AVOIDED IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. (National Weather Service)

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

© 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.

springhour
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 9459

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 8853

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 6458

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 03, 2015 5749

Three Arrested during Traffic Stop

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 4450

Local Man Makes Unique Display from Area’s…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 05, 2015 4082

State of Emergency Declared for Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Leslie Curneal

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 16, 2015

UPDATE: State of Emergency Declared for Kentucky

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Stories Trending Today

March 05, 2015 4082

State of Emergency Declared for Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Leslie Curneal
March 05, 2015 3359

UPDATE: I-24 Open Between 50-45 MM

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd
March 03, 2015 2768

Superintendent: Spring Break Won't be Touched…

in Hopkins News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 1908

Highway Crews Dealing with Landsides in…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Keith Todd
March 05, 2015 1831

Deep Snowfall Stalls Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 1688

KSP Warns of Old Scam Resurfacing in the Post 2…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
March 04, 2015 1449

Adamson Chosen as Madisonville MSU Campus’…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 1412

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 4, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 04, 2015 1371

Muhlenberg County Educator Inducted into Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by WKU News
March 04, 2015 1132

Mental Health Services Expanded at Western…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Steve Beshear