Officials meet over coal severance tax

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

FRANKFORT, Ky (WYMT) - The recent decline of coal production in our area has led to fears that coal severance money could be decreasing.

Revenue from the tax is projected at $245 million this year, $88 million less than what was expected five months ago.

Some lawmakers are concerned about how the slowdown may affect local projects.

"There has been a tremendous war on coal, and they are winning. But what they are finding out is that as they win there is a financial and economic cost to the state. As you shut these mines down it restricts the jobs and the coal coming in the market and the coal sales, and it effects Louisville and Lexington, but right now it's disproportionately killing eastern and western Kentucky," said state senator Brandon Smith from Hazard.

Deputy State Budget Director John Hicks attended a meeting in Frankfort about the issue Thursday and said that some of the concerns are legitimate.

He says their estimates show some counties will have sufficient funds, while other counties will not have enough to fund all of the their projects, just some.

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