To no one’s surprise, the Kentucky Retail Federation came out Friday in opposition to any effort to try again to let state voters decide if they want a one percent local option sales tax to fund physical facilities.
A total of 37 states already allow cities and/or county voters to add to the state sales tax and use the money to pay off locally-issued bonds for various types of facilities.
In Carter County, adding one percent would generate an estimated $923,107 to be used each year to retire bonds.
Once a project’s revenue bonds are retired, the tax goes away.
The issue came back to life with the revelation by House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Minority Leader Jeff Hoover that passing the local option sales tax bill will be the top priority of House leadership in the upcoming 2015 session of the General Assembly.
A bill was introduced in 2014 for the local sales tax option but it made little progress in the face of stiff opposition from Republicans.
A bi-partisan group calling itself LIFT (Local Investments For Transformation) claims on its website that a statewide poll shows 72 percent of Kentuckians favor the right to decide if their local government could use the extra sales tax to finance local capital projects.
Only 19 percent said they were opposed with the remaining nine percent undecided. The website iswww.liftkentucky.com
The local option sales tax is endorsed by dozens of current and former governors, mayors, county judge-executives and statewide corporations and organizations.