LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Appalachian counties are complaining about a decision to use $2.5 million of coal severance taxes to help pay for renovations at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Kentucky collects a tax on coal that is taken out of the ground, and gives some back to coal-producing counties to assist local governments and help diversify their economies.
Letcher County Judge-Executive Jim Ward told the Lexington Herald-Leader that his county is cutting its budget by more than $1 million due to cutbacks in coal severance funding. He also questioned whether there would be enough coal several funds to pay for multi-county water and sewer projects.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo defended the legislature's decision noting that the University of Kentucky basketball program has statewide importance.