As Coal-Reliant Residents Leave and Businesses Fail, They Take Their Tax Dollars With Them

Consequentially, the entire community takes a hit from this loss of tax revenue. Even residents working outside of the coal industry are affected.
December 4, 2020Updated 9 months ago
As Coal-Reliant Residents Leave and Businesses Fail, They Take Their Tax Dollars With Them
Both coal workers and the coal industry itself are important contributors to tax revenues in coal-reliant communities. And when the industry collapses, those tax dollars disappear. In a case study, Brookings found that in three coal-reliant counties, coal-related revenue comprised more than a third of county budgets. That means that the entire community—even community members not employed in the coal industry—will feel the effects. "Case studies show that the rapid decline of a dominant industry has led to downward spirals and eventual collapses of local governments’ fiscal conditions, including the inability to raise revenue, repay debt, and/ or provide basic public services," the report concluded. Adams County, Ohio, for instance, was home to two huge coal-powered plants. When those shuttered in 2016, some 1,100 people lost their jobs, according to an Ohio University study. And those closures led to a staggering 32% drop in tax revenue in the county. This means when coal suffers in a coal-reliant community, everyone suffers. In both the private and the public sectors, coal losses ripple through the entire community.
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Paula Jean agrees with this fact based on:
I looked at the Brookings Institute slide presentation and there was significant scientific work done
The risk of fiscal collapse in coal-reliant communities
Coal Is Gone, Or Almost, In Areas That Made Trump President

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