Bluegrass Poll: Ky. voters support local option sales tax idea – WKYT

The poll – conducted for WKYT-TV, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and WHAS-TV – found 63 percent of the 1,917 registered voters surveyed like the idea of giving citizens the right to reject or approve local sales taxes.

A required constitutional amendment to allow such votes failed to win the needed support in the state Senate on Wednesday.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky League of Cities supported the plan as way for local communities to raise money by temporarily adding a small amount to the state six-percent sales tax.

The Bluegrass Poll found only 23 percent of likely voters preferred to leave things as they are and not allow communities an local option sales tax.

“With the measure failing to win Senate support, it’s not dead completely as lawmakers to reintroduce it during the next session and in time for the 2016 ballot,” said WKYT political editor Bill Bryant. “It’s obvious that lawmakers and members of the public have differing opinions on whether this should be a local decision.”

For the Bluegrass Poll, SurveyUSA interviewed 2,200 state of Kentucky adults between March 3 and 8. Of the adults, 1,903 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 529 were determined by SurveyUSA to be Republican likely voters in the May 19 primary. Of the registered voters, 639 were determined to be Democrats likely to vote in the May 19 Democratic primary.

This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone were interviewed on a home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

What People Are Saying

  • “Putting the local-tax amendment on the November 2014 statewide ballot is a no-brainer. If local people want to levy local taxes on themselves, they should be able to.”

    Al Cross, Courier-Journal columnist
  • Jeff-Bringardner-headshot-only“This is a way to keep dollars in the area, to come up with a diverse slate of projects that sync up with the long-term plans of the community and get voted on by the people”

    Jeff Bringardner, President, Humana Kentucky
  • BillLamb“If Louisville could adopt a 1% Local Option Tax, it would impose a minimal burden, but would raise over 90 million dollars a year.”

    Bill Lamb, President and General Manager for WDRB and WNYO
  • Bill Samuels Bellarmine Portrait“Local option makes all the sense in the world. Offering citizens the opportunity to vote on investing in their community is how our country ought to operate.”

    Bill Samuels, Chairman, Emeritus Makers Mark
  • …a new way for communities to see the projects they want and need go from the drawing board to reality — and to do it for themselves.

    Jim Host, founder of Host Communications and former State Commerce Secretary
  • LIFT is a tried-and-true tool that allows for more voter involvement in the process.  Voters, not politicians, would help determine big picture, visionary projects that could improve quality of life.

    Dave Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • …an idea whose time has come, and could be a crucial economic development tool which will help our local communities build a better future, and the new jobs and businesses we need.

    Hal Goode, President and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Economic Development
  • In our opinion, Kentucky voters should be allowed to vote on the local option sales tax because it could fund public facilities without increasing property taxes.

    Morehead News
  • It will allow communities to plan and pay for improvements to enhance civic and economic life without going hat in hand each budget session to Frankfort.

    Lexington Herald-Leader
  • The beauty of it is that local voters have the say-so as to its enactment, and they have a sense that they are getting what they pay for.

    Princeton Times-Leader