Coal is leaving the state – in fact, 88% of coal mined in Illinois is consumed out-of-state. While industry is gearing up for more exports overseas, Illinois communities are missing out on a revenue source that could be reinvested to clean-up and diversify the economy.
“Capturing Resource Wealth to Invest in the Future” (download here) examined all of the current trends for coal mining in Illinois and fee collection in other states. The conclusions are significant, showing that:
Illinois is one of the only major coal-producing states that does not collect a coal severance tax – a common sense excise fee collected from the coal company based on the price or volume of coal mined.
While the multi-billion dollar coal industry exports Illinois coal out-of-state, the communities where coal comes from are missing out on a substantial source of revenue – over $100 million each year.
Collecting these fees does not impact industry production – this means that hard-working miners keep their jobs and communities receive revenue to invest in education, job training, and infrastructure for a self-sufficient economy.
Legislators can establish a Community Futures Fund, ensuring a permanent source of wealth during bust periods and providing revenue to invest in infrastructure, economic development, and education for an economy communities can rely on.