The Letcher County Sheriff ’s Office collected a total of $1,852,680 in unmined coal taxes for the year beginning July 16, 2011 and ending August 15, 2012.
Of the total collected, Sheriff Danny Webb kept $71,852 in commissions to help operate his office. The remaining $1,780,828 was paid to state government, the Letcher County and Jenkins Independent school districts, the Letcher Fiscal Court, and the county’s health department, extension service, library board and soil conservation district, Adam Edelen, Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts said in an audit report released July 2.
Kentucky began collecting taxes on mineable coal still in the ground after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that the tax exemption on unmined coal is unconstitutional. The high court’s ruling was spurred by the actions of a citizens group known then as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition.
Edelen also on Tuesday released the findings of his department’s annual audit of the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Settlement. According to Edelen, Sheriff Webb collected property taxes of $7,955,681 for the year beginning April 16, 2011 and ending April 16, 2012. After retaining commissions of $311,176 with which to help operate his office, Webb distributed taxes of $7,636,070 to the fiscal court, school systems and special taxing districts, Edelen’s report says.