Saturday, March 19, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...3-20-'11
- The state collected $285 million from the coal severance tax in 2010. About $73.5 million was distributed to the counties in the 12-month fiscal year that ended in June 2010. Changes to the payout system in the mid-1990s sent more money to the counties and regional development projects, but an even split has remained elusive, leaving less for the coal counties that contribute to it. Local leaders in coal-rich Kentucky counties say they are grateful for the money they receive, but getting an equal share of coal severance tax dollars would boost budgets in a tight economy. Mining companies pay the 4.5 percent tax on coal sales, which should amount to a fund of about $260 million for the 2011 fiscal year.
- Governor Steve Beshear will reimburse the state for using a state plane for his two-day tour to nine cities as a way to gain public support with his Medicaid plan. Senate President David Williams, who is running in the GOP primary, called the tour an election year ploy, but Beshear says it was not related to the governor's race. Friday, Beshear campaign manager Bill Hyers said Beshear attended a political event in Louisa in northeastern Kentucky on Monday evening. "As is the strict policy of the Beshear administration," Hyers said, "the campaign will reimburse the state for any non-governmental use of the state plane." Hyers said Beshear kept the news conferences he made on the trip separate from the political event. Beshear implemented a policy in February 2008 that outlined guidelines for use of state aircraft. Hyers said the campaign would wait to hear from the state on how much the campaign owed for the trip to Louisa.
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