Bevin favors returning 100 percent of coal severance dollars to coal counties

Published 1:32 pm Friday, June 28, 2019

In a historic decision that will benefit coal counties and all of Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin announced that he will allocate 100 percent of Kentucky’s coal severance dollars to coal counties in the 2020-2021 state budget.

For the last 20 years, state revenue collected from coal severance taxes has been split 50-50 between the state general fund and coal counties. Now, Gov. Bevin will ensure that 100 percent of that revenue is returned to coal counties so that these counties can continue to grow their local economies.

In a statement, Gov. Bevin said, “Kentucky’s coal counties are in the best position to determine how coal severance dollars should be spent in their local communities. For the first time in Kentucky history, we are committing to return 100 percent of the coal severance money generated in the counties. This additional $30 million will be used to meet local needs and spur economic development. This is how good government should work and I am proud to emphasize more local control of these funds.”

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Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley added, “Coal counties have been devastated by the War on Coal. Declining tax receipts have made it impossible for many of these counties to invest in infrastructure for economic diversification, serve senior citizens, and make sure our fire departments and rescue squads have equipment necessary to protect life and property. Today, I sincerely appreciate Gov. Bevin for seeing the need and taking action to return 100 percent of the coal severance tax funds to this region that is rebuilding and still attempting to provide essential services to our citizens. There is a future in Appalachia. This support by Gov. Bevin will help solidify that future even more.”