Council passes LIFT resolution of support – Murray Ledger & Times

By HAWKINS TEAGUE 
Source: Murray Ledger & Times

The Murray City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday in support of state legislative approval of House Bill 1, known as LIFT (Local Investments for Transformation).

Mayor Jack Rose said the bill would allow for Kentucky residents to vote on a local option sales tax for specific community projects. He said it would allow for a limited-time sales tax up to 1 cent, but the amount could be less than that. Rose said one aspect he  liked about the proposed legislation is that if voters choose to have a local option sales in their community, the tax would not only go toward a specific project, but it would also have an pre-determined end date. He said he thought the bill was a good example of what “home rule” or “local control” ought to be about.

Rose said State Rep. Kenny Imes, a Murray Republican representing the 5th District, had requested that the council take a position on the bill, which would require a constitutional amendment. If the bill were approved, legislators would then have to write the rules for how local option elections would be implemented, Rose said. Councilman Dan Miller pointed out that voters could only approve constitutional amendments in even years. Rose said he believed that was right, so the earliest the amendment could be on the ballot would be November 2016.

In other business:

• The council voted 11-1 to pass the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the property located at 1410 Poplar Street from R-4 (multi-family residential) to B-1 (neighborhood business). Miller voted no, stating that he had seen a lot of “zoning creep” over the years, and he did not want to see Poplar Street  turn into a business street.

• The council passed the first reading of an ordinance zoning 27.74 acres owned by Stephen and Erika Compton east of Falwell Estates and north of Wiswell Road as Agriculture.

• The council passed the first reading of an ordinance enacting and adopting a supplement to the city’s Code of Ordinances.

• The council passed the second reading of an ordinance annexing into the city limits 13.235 acres owned by Westside Baptist Church, 0.918 acres owned by the City of Murray, and a 2.417-acre portion of Calloway County roadway along Robertson Road South. It also passed the second reading of an ordinance the Westside Baptist Church property and the county roadway as R-2 (single family residential) and the city property as Government.

• The council passed the second reading of an ordinance amending the annual budget to appropriate Special Fund Sources for the amount of $1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds.

• In the mayor’s report, Rose said the meeting he had set up with the Kentucky Division of Water for this week to talk about the city’s wastewater treatment plant project had to be postponed until next week. He also talked about setting up a meeting – possibly an all-day retreat – in which he and the city’s Long Range Planning Committee could talk about their goals and priorities.

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