Coal baron’s companies owe $2.3M in taxes to poor Ky. county

James Booth: Image via UK Board of Trustees

INEZ, Ky. (AP) – Companies controlled by a former University of Kentucky trustee owe $2.3 million in overdue taxes to one of the state’s poorest counties.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports James Booth owes property taxes in Martin County from seven coal companies there.

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Booth acts as president or director of more than 30 companies in Kentucky and was a member of the UK Board of Trustees until earlier this year.

Booth tells the paper his companies simply don’t have enough money to pay taxes and keep the mines operating.

County attorneys can sue for delinquent property taxes. Booth says the local attorney’s office hasn’t done so because the companies are paying some taxes, as they are able.

State Rep. Chris Harris, who represents Martin County, says there is no excuse for not paying.

(Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

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