Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Officials Disagree Over Coal Severance

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike County Magistrate Chris Harris and State Senator Ray Jones differ on whether the general assembly should allocate coal severance tax funds to Pike County for debt service. Jones says the funds are for economic development work only and Pike County cannot use coal severance monies to pay debt. However, Harris cites several examples of the legislature's past allocations to counties for debt service. Harris says, in the 2008 budget, there is $300,000 budgeted directly to the city of Pikeville for debt service for Bob Amos Park and another $350,000 budgeted directly to the city of Pikeville for debt service for Hambley Field. He also cited $2 million in coal severance funds budgeted directly to the Perry County Fiscal Court to retire debt for road projects, $750,000 budgeted to Mountain Water District for debt service, and $50,000 budgeted for the Child Advocacy Center for debt service in the 2010 state budget.