A decline in coal mining tax revenue has many of Kentucky’s top officials concerned. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear say they are worried about the declining revenues form the coal severance tax.
The tax is used for a variety of state, county and local infrastructure projects, mostly in Eastern Kentucky. Beshear says the drop in revenue reflects the tough market for Kentucky coal.
“I am concerned about the coal severance receipts, they are down, they’re down significantly. And that because coal mining is down significantly, the tons of coal mined has dropped.”
Beshear says exports, mainly to India and China, could help the revenues rebound. However, the first shipment of coal in a celebrated trade deal with an Indian company is months behind schedule.
Governor Steve Beshear's legislative priorities for the coming year are a mix of old and new.
With the next session’s first days weeks away, Gov. Beshear is ready to push some old initiatives and help lawmakers solve pressing issues like the state's flailing pensions.
Beshear says he will once again try to find enough votes to pass expanded gambling legislation. And he wants to raise the school dropout age to 18 as well. In addition to those old reforms, Beshear says he wants to work with lawmakers to address recent reports from task forces that studied pensions and tax reform.