Harlan County School District might have to repay property taxes

Posted at 2:05 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 14:05:19-04

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Harlan County School District could be required to re-pay $73,000 in property taxes, if a court rules in favor of Blackjewel Mining's sister company, Revelation Energy.

State Sen. Johnny Ray Turner knows his constituents in Harlan County have been through enough. The last thing he feels they need is another potential crisis.

"Recently, Harlan County School District had been asked to pay back $73,000 from Revelation Energy," said Turner.

That's the sister company for Blackjewel Mining, which filed for bankruptcy after failing to pay its coal miners for the work they had completed. Now, it seem as if a property tax loophole has been discovered. Revelation Energy is said to have overpaid in taxes, while the district said it is still owed money. This could be nearly $100,000 swing in someone's favor.

"I felt like we needed to clarify the law, so that they don't have to pay that money back. It's happened before in the school district and I'm hoping it won't happen again," said Turner.

But, if a court rules against the school district, or new legislation the senator is filing isn't adopted to close this loophole, the ramifications could be devastating.

"They would probably have to lose a couple of teachers within the school system," Turner said.

Turner insisted that this isn't political "grandstanding," just a preventative measure to help his schools.

"Harlan County has been hit very hard by the Blackjewel situation," Turner said.

Turner also said that he is expecting a bi-partisan resolution to his proposal.