A drop in coal severance tax revenues has several Kentucky leaders worried. Money from the tax on mined coal is used largely for state, county and city infrastructure projects, specifically in coal mining areas like Eastern Kentucky. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear say the significant drop in the tax revenue has caught their attention. Beshear says the decline is due to the tough domestic market for Kentucky coal. But he believes exports could cause a rebound. He points out that Kentucky interests recently struck a deal to send coal to India.
“And so I think that will be a market that will increase in the future, but it’s tough right down and losing the coal severance money, the way it’s going down, will be difficult.”
But as Kentucky Public Radio's Erica Peterson has reported, the first coal shipment in that deal has been delayed by months.