Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa stops early in Muhlenberg County

If you didn't see this morning's Courier Journal (and at the rate their fortune is declining that might soon include everyone), this article is cause for celebration in Muhlenberg County and it could be cause for celebration right here in Barren County as well . . . if our elected representatives put two and two together. I know this is not particularly about our initial goal of a sustainable local food economy. But it is all about a sustainable overall local economy.

As we all have discussed, one of the biggest problems with Glasgow's economy is the amount of money we generate, but then allow to leak out of circulation to other communities and corporations. Perhaps one of the largest leaks is the "in lieu of tax" payments that are a part of your electric bill from the EPB. This matter was pretty fully addressed recently in the Glasgow Daily Times at this link , but this new great fortune for Muhlenberg County makes it even more interesting.

Here is what I mean. Since the inequity in distribution of these payments by TVA is based upon the Commonwealth of Kentucky's problematic law which distributes the monies based upon where TVA owns property instead of where the power is sold, and since one of TVA's largest investments in Kentucky is in Muhlenberg County (Paradise Steam Plant, the one made famous in the old John Prine song, Paradise), large amounts of money collected through your power bill in Glasgow wind up being sent to Muhlenberg County as a result of this wacky law. Up to now, few state legislators were willing to change that law because of the horrible impact it would have on Muhlenberg County. Well, now they are rich and perhaps it is time for a reckoning.

If our state representatives reading this blog will take the hint and get this leak fixed by converting Kentucky's TVA in lieu of tax distribution formula to send the money back to where it is collected (like most other TVA states do), suddenly about $1 million per year will stop leaving Glasgow's economy. Instead it will be returned to our schools and governments who actually consume TVA power. That amount of money would go a long way toward our sustainability.

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