Eight Kentucky Governors Endorse Local Option

Eight Kentucky governors – representing all of the living people who have held the office – announced today that they’re endorsing local option, saying it’s the best way for citizens across the Commonwealth to have a direct voice and vote in making investments that improve their communities.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear joined former governors Wendell Ford; Julian Carroll; John Y. Brown, Jr.; Martha Layne Collins; Brereton Jones; Paul Patton; and Ernie Fletcher in announcing their unified support for the effort.

“I very strongly support the LIFT initiative,” Beshear said. “When you look at Oklahoma City and hear what they have accomplished there, it makes you realize that communities in Kentucky need the same tools if we want to remain competitive.”

The governors released the following quotes:

“I know that people in every area of our great commonwealth want the ability to control their own destiny and to have a direct say in how their tax dollars are spent,” said Gov. Wendell Ford, who served from 1971-74. “Local option gives them that basic right.”

“This is a progressive step that can help move individual communities and our entire commonwealth forward, creating jobs and a stronger quality of life,” said Gov. Julian Carroll, who served from 1974-79. “It puts the decision-making right in the hands of citizens, which is about as direct a form of democracy as it gets.”

“LIFT gives local control to allow communities to take advantage in building future opportunities as they become available,” said Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr., who served from 1979-83. “This is an essential tool for positive change and progress.”

“Economic development is important to me,” said Gov. Martha Layne Collins, who served from 1983-87. “LIFT gives local communities a better tool to fund the kinds of projects that attract businesses and grow the economy. The best part is that it is all about local control.

“As citizens become more aware, they are favoring local option because it gives them a direct voice and direct control over key investments that can move their community forward,” said Gov. Brereton Jones, who served from 1991-95.

“As a former county judge, I know that local communities have great ideas, but struggle with funding,” said Gov. Paul Patton, who served from 1995-2003. “LIFT gives cities and counties around the state a viable funding option – one that they control and vote on.”

“Kentucky communities need to have every tool at their

disposal to brand themselves as a great place to live and work and attract expanding companies and talented workers,” said Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “This could be a smart, effective strategy for communities who want to use it, and it should be up to those communities.”

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