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 This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.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

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

May 23, 2015 7909

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 6640

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 4312

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3760

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 27, 2015 3484

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 10975

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 7909

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 28, 2015 4312

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1286

Greenville Man Charged with Rockport Robbery,…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 1097

Livingston Street, Hanson Rezoning Request…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 854

Teens Injured When Vehicle Crashes into Tree

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 803

Dawson Springs Woman Charged on Drug Offenses, DUI

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 666

Southside Elementary Wins $30,000 in National…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 612

Slaughters Student, Madisonville Faculty Member…

by Joyce Riggs
May 28, 2015 536

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
May 28, 2015 388

'The Patrick Rudd Project' Encourages Community…

by Ron Sanders