Mineral counties join forces with coal coalition
Nola Sizemore Staff Writer
Mineral taxing for counties highlighted a recent special called meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court. Magistrate David Kennedy told the court that during a recent meeting in Frankfort the coal coalition voted to accept the “mineral counties” to join forces.
“Your mineral tax is a true 50 percent,” said Kennedy. “There are 30 counties and these counties are afraid the state is going to go after their mineral tax like they are going after the coal severance tax. They have decided to join forces with the coal counties to support us in our efforts to increase coal severance funds back to the coal producing counties and in turn we support them in maintaining their tax as is.”
Grieshop said he has been appointed to a committee to look at putting coal, rock, gravel, oil and everything else into one tax and doing away with coal tax standing alone.
“We want to be ready for the next legislative session to protect those precious tax dollars,” said Grieshop. “Letcher County Judge-Executive Jim Ward spoke up and said they are now receiving more monies from gas mineral tax than coal in the last year. Without those extra tax dollars it will be an extra burden on our citizens.”
In other action the court:
*Voted to give Administrative Assistant Carolyn Smith the authority to sign checks in the event Grieshop is absent;
*Approved a deed of conveyance between fiscal court and the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the use and benefit of the Department of Military Affairs, relating to the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy with a clause if the academy is closed the property will revert back to the county;
*Approved the second reading of an ordinance creating the Harlan County Division of Emergency Management;
*Approved a second reading and adoption of an ordinance relating to the establishment of a Code of Ethics for county officials and employees;
*Appointed Ralph Turner for a four-year term, Raymond Cox for a three-year term, Steve Sergent for a two-year term and Ronnie Cook for a one-year term as commissioners for Black Mountain Utility District.
The court went into executive session per KRS 810 (l) (c) and returned with no action taken.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, firstname.lastname@example.org
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