Hopkins County Coal Production Down, Taxes Affected

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A western Kentucky county is bracing for a slowdown in coal production over the next 18 months and expecting the drop to impact projects that are dependent upon those funds.

State officials are reporting a 26 percent drop in coal severance tax funds for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which began July 1. That could leave Hopkins County with $1 million less than the $4.05 million officials projected from 2012-2014.

Judge-Executive Donnie Carroll told The Messenger that projects will be funded according to their rank on a priority list as severance tax funds become available.

Severance funds are based on a formula tied to coal production in each Kentucky county. The money helps counties with infrastructure and economic development projects to prepare communities for when their coal reserves are exhausted.

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