Nina McCoy, left, and her husband Mickey McCoy. Nina is the leader of Martin County Concerned Citizens. Photo by Lyndsey Gilpin

What happens to local governments when coal revenue dries up (Southerly)

Two years ago, I wrote about how some eastern Kentucky counties were struggling with falling tax revenues, largely due to coal’s decline. Some places struggled to provide basic government services such as law enforcement and waste management, while others held partial government shutdowns.

Last week Southerly published an update, which like the 2019 story looks largely at Martin County, Kentucky. A lot of people are excited about the possibility of a major federal infrastructure package that could shower the area with project money. Yet after more than a half century of the War on Poverty, many others feel skeptical about the prospects of positive, meaningful change.

Read “Biden vows to support struggling Appalachian counties. But residents are weary of failed promises.” at Southerly.