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Environmentalists are again touting a severance tax on Illinois's coal production. Coal industry lobbyists said the tax would be another attack on an already-embattled economic driver.
Proponents of the "Community Futures Initiative" were in Southern Illinois this week, rallying support for a 5 percent severance tax on all coal produced within Illinois. Only three of the 25 coal-producing states, including Illinois, don't have a targeted tax on coal production.
Severance tax supporters cite an analysis published this week by the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, which concluded coal actually costs the state $20 million a year in tax breaks and other public services.