Henderson Co. officials discuss coal severance tax concerns - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Henderson Co. officials discuss coal severance tax concerns

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The Henderson County Fiscal Court met on Tuesday and members talked about approaching state lawmakers to reform the coal severance tax. 

Henderson County is one of many "coal counties" across the state asking for the state to reconsider the way the coal severance tax is allotted. 

The coal severance tax was created when the state took sales tax off of food. It was put in to place to build infrastructure and recruit economic development in counties that have coal mines.

The money received from the tax goes into funding public services, such as volunteer fire departments and animal shelters.

Henderson County Judge Executive, Hugh McCormick says the county use to receive almost $300,000 a quarter. Now they received about $70,000. He's concerned and thinks some thing needs to be changed.

"We think its time to reevaluate what we're doing. I think the coal fields of Western Kentucky are the only ones that are operating right now. There's not much activity at all in Eastern Kentucky and so the coal severance dollars are going down drastically. How we operate our budgets are affected drastically by the amount of coal severance dollars that we have," McCormick said.

Counties receive the tax if they have a coal mine or coal traffic. The county has had to cut several projects and programs to deal with the loss of funds. 

With all the counties lobbying in Frankfort, they're optimistic there will be some sort of reform.

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