Source: Murray Ledger & Times
Resolutions were the order of the day Tuesday for the Calloway County Fiscal Court as the magistrates sought to make statements of support for key issues.
The first of these was in relation to House Bill 1 of the Kentucky General Assembly, which addresses Local Investments for Transformation (LIFT) legislation that calls for amending Kentucky’s Constitution to allow citizens to vote on a local sales tax to fund transformational local projects. The tax would be removed once payments for the projects are made. Tuesday’s resolution was approved unanimously.
“We need something like this because there just isn’t enough money available right now to finance projects that we here know we need,” said Calloway County Judge-Executive Larry Elkins of the bill that, if approved in Frankfort, would call for a statewide constitutional amendment vote this fall, then legislative approval to ratify the constitution. “The real beauty is, after a fiscal court or city council or whatever kind of local government decides a project is needed, the last thing that happens is for the voters, the people of the community, decide to approve it or not. To me it is the purest form of democracy.”
The state House of Representatives passed the measure last week. The Senate is now considering the bill.
Next up for the magistrates was a resolution supporting Senate Bill 93 of the General Assembly that calls for elections to be held in even-numbered years. Currently, Kentucky operates under a system that allows elections three out of four years.
One of the main points of this bill is that it would save the commonwealth $3.5 million every four years, saving counties more than $14 million every four years, including more than $80,000 in Calloway County.
“With elections happening as they are now, voter turnout is historically quite low and county clerk offices are spending quite a bit of money on these elections,” Elkins said. “This is a real solid piece of legislation that I believe could make a real difference.”
This resolution also passed unanimously, as did the third resolution considered, one that encourages the General Assembly and Gov. Steve Beshear to push legislation stabilizing funding for state and local transportation.
This involves the state gas tax, which had a direct impact on road projects each year. Thanks to the drop in gasoline prices throughout the community, though, this has meant the amount of money available has shrunk so far in 2015.
“So far it has dropped four to five cents. We can handle that,” Elkins said. “If that drops another nickel, things are going to get rough. Right now, the tax can go all the way down to a bottom number, but the problem is, it can only go back up 10 percent a year.
“If this continues, it’s going to have a dramatic impact on state and local governments.”
In addition, magistrates unanimously approved the acceptance of a $75 bid from a prospective buyer on Lot 58 of Unit 1 in the Maple Springs subdivision in the eastern portion of the county.