Gov. Matt Bevin on Monday announced that more than $15 million in excess coal severance tax revenue will be allocated to 49 counties and 122 municipalities that qualify to receive funds from the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund coal severance program.
Hopkins County and Dawson Springs will be receiving additional money.
Enacted by the 2018 General Assembly, HB 200 (as amended by HB 265) directs that if actual coal severance tax revenue collected for the fiscal year exceeds the official estimate provided by the Office of the State Budget Director (OSBD), 100 percent of the excess revenue shall be allocated to the LGEAF coal severance program.
"We are excited to announce more than $15 million in additional coal severance funding that will be returning to Kentucky counties and cities," said Gov. Bevin. "I am grateful to our state legislators who helped us ensure that 100 percent of excess coal severance revenue is directed back to our local governments. These extra LGEA funds will enable cities and counties to bolster public safety, economic development, critical infrastructure, and other vital community needs."
The LGEAF is a program of revenue sharing for Kentucky counties and cities. The LGEAF returns a portion of state collected coal and non-coal mineral severance taxes to eligible local governments in accordance with KRS 42.450 - KRS 42.495. Eligibility in the LGEAF coal severance program occurs if a county is a coal "producer" or if there is significant transportation of coal through the county ("impact county"). The status of all counties is evaluated quarterly.
Actual revenue collected for FY 2019 exceeded the official projection from OSBD by over $15 million. The annual projection for FY 2019 coal severance tax revenue was $77,900,000. Actual revenue collected was $92,906,946.91--an excess of $15,006,946.91. This excess distribution is more than the LGEAF program distributed in FY 2019 ($11,055,931.71) to eligible counties and cities.
LGEA Funds can be used by local governments to address needs in the following priority categories: public safety, environmental protection, public transportation, health, recreation, libraries and educational facilities, social services, industrial and economic development, and workforce training.
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"The return of over $700,000 in coal severance monies to Hopkins County is a huge boost," said Hopkins County Judge/Executive Jack Whitfield. "This money will be a great help to our infrastructure and economic development. We want to express our gratitude to the Governor and the General Assembly for passing HB 265 which made this possible. We are especially grateful to the coal miners and coal companies that support Hopkins County and all of Kentucky. These men and women work hard every day to provide for their families and support our local economies."
Dawson Springs will receive $8,488.84 of the $773,227.33 coal severance money due to Hopkins County. Earlington will have a share of $4,339.63, while Hanson will get $2,278.84. Madisonville's share is $60,168.16. Others: Mortons Gap, $2,650.46; Nebo, $724.81; Nortonville, $3,697.74; St. Charles, $850.73; and White Plains, $2,714.95.
For additional information about the LGEAF coal severance program, contact the Kentucky Department for Local Government (DLG) at 1-800-346-5606.