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February 14 2022 12:00 am

Some Kentucky counties using coal severance to pay past debts

Kentucky

FRANKFORT, KY (AP) – A published report says some of Kentucky’s poorest counties are using coal severance tax funds that were originally meant to bolster local economies to pay past debts.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports it analyzed how eight eastern Kentucky counties with high poverty levels spent $6.2 million in coal severance tax funds over the last two years.

The newspaper found that 42 percent of the funding was spent repaying the principal and interest on old loans. That’s not a concern for Republican state Rep. Chris Fugate of Chavies, who said debts have to be repaid. He said he has no objection as long as the money doesn’t go to something wasteful.

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