BRADD Members Hear about Local Sales Tax Bill – The Daily News

Bowling Green Daily News
August 20, 2014

The Barren River Area Development District board of directors heard about the potential for a bill to be approved in the 2015 legislative session that would let Kentuckians vote on a constitutional amendment allowing local option sales taxes to be levied.

Representatives of Kentucky LIFT, an organization supporting the legislation, spoke with board members today.
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The local option sales tax would have to be approved by local voters, have

an automatic sunset date and be used for specific infrastructure projects, said Matt Erwin of Kentucky LIFT. The tax could not exceed 1 percent and some things – such as medicine, food and automobile purchases – would be excluded from the tax.

“It’s an opportunity to empower the local communities that you represent in a pretty unique way,” Erwin told board members.

Needs are growing in local communities, but the pot of money available to meet those needs on the state and federal level is shrinking, he said.

“Frankly, the funds aren’t going to be there for you to not only get the things you want, but a lot of the things that your city needs to be competitive, to draw new businesses in, to draw new families that want to relocate,” Erwin said.

He said the idea has growing support across the state.

It’s possible that the legislation could be named as House Bill 1 for the 2015 session, marking it as a top priority, and has been supported by Gov. Steve Beshear, Erwin said.


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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