EquiLottery, local option sales tax bills move forward – Louisville Business First

A Senate committee gave unanimous approval Tuesday for a bill to allow the Kentucky Lottery to start a combined lottery game and horse racing bet.

Senate Bill 74 could be voted on by the full Senate as soon as Thursday, The Courier-Journal reports.

The legislation would allow the EquiLottery game, developed by Brad Cummings, to be implemented in Kentucky — the first state that would sign up for it.

As Business First previously reported,EquiLottery would give people the chance to bet on live horse racing through local lottery retailers.

Also on Tuesday, the local option sales tax amendment that Mayor Greg Fischer has advocated passed the same legislative committee that it passed last year, and proponents of the tax say they’re optimistic about its chances this year.

House Bill 1 passed the House elections and constitutional amendments committee 6-1 with one pass vote. The bill’s sponsor, Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said it will get a vote in the full House — which didn’t happen last year because he said he didn’t have the votes, The Courier-Journal reports.

The bill needs 60 votes to pass the House, since it’s a constitutional amendment, and that number could be difficult to achieve since not all of the 54 majority Democrats are in favor of the idea, the story said.

But Stumbo says he believes he already has enough votes, and the vote by the full House could come by the end of this week.

If the bill is approved by three-fifths of the members of both the House and Senate and ratified by voters statewide — the earliest being November 2016 — then local projects could be funded through a temporary sales tax increase of up to 1 percent that would have to be approved in a local referendum, the story said.

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