Resolution calls for coal severance formula change

Anthony Cloud Staff Writer

November 15, 2013

The Bell County Fiscal Court passed a resolution on Friday to request the Kentucky General Assembly reconsider legislative expenditures taken from coal severance tax revenues and change the formula to return more severance taxes directly to the coal producing counties through the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund.

Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock said the local coal coalition, of which the fiscal court is a member, went to Frankfort and lobbied to change the formula for how coal severance comes back to counties. The coalition unanimously passed the resolution.

There are two ways coal severance funds come into local government. One is through the single county coal severance fund and the other is through Local Government Economic Assistance fund (LGEA), which is managed by the treasurer’s office and the judge-executive’s office.

The current formula used by Frankfort sends 35 percent of what the county gets into the single county money and 15 percent to the local government fund, according to Brock.

The local government money is used to work on roads and anything else that involves public safety or economic development.

The coalition is requesting the legislature change the percentage to place 35 percent of the money into local government and 15 percent into the state line item single county budget.

“That would cure a lot of problems at least for the next three or four years,” said Brock. “This would really be a salvation and savior for some of the neighboring counties.”

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, acloud@civitasmedia.com