Paula Jean Swearengin (Unofficial)
As 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.
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.
Paula Jean believes this point based on
I looked at the Brookings Institute slide presentation and there was significant scientific work done