County leaders question coal severance spending
They say it is unfair spending that is hurting mountain counties.
Some Eastern Kentucky leaders are upset over multi-county coal severance tax money that the legislature agreed to spend on Rupp Arena renovations in Lexington.
Recently many county leaders have been talking budgets and trying to figure out how they can survive.
With coal severance tax revenue declining as more mines shut down they say it is getting even harder.
Now many of those mountain county leaders are angry because some of what is left of that coal severance money was allotted for Rupp Arena in Lexington.
County leaders in many mountain counties like Pike County say the problem to them is that coal severance money should not be going to a county or city that does not produce coal.
A statement from House Speaker Greg Stumbo said, "Though Rupp is not in the coal fields, many believe it plays an important role in the state because of the tradition of the University of Kentucky basketball program, and there is a strong alumni support in our region as well."
Some are not buying it.
Now many are asking for policy changes.