Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday that more than $15 million in excess coal severance tax revenue will be allocated to 49 counties – including Whitley, Knox, Laurel and Bell counties, which combine for over $900,000 in funding – and 122 municipalities – including Corbin, Williamsburg, London, Barbourville, Pineville and Middlesboro – that qualify to receive funds from the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund (LGEAF) coal severance program.
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,” Bevin said. “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.
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.
The following local counties each received a portion of the funds, including:
- Bell County – $474,847.19.
- Knox County – $173,873.46.
- Laurel County – $53,911.76.
- Whitley County – $253,063.79.
The following local cities each received a portion of the funds, including:
- Barbourville – $12,340.16.
- Corbin – $21,389.72.
- London – $5,990.20.
- Middlesboro – $45,187.31.
- Pineville – $7,573.49.
- Williamsburg – $13,707.59.