Source: Tristate Homepage
A Kentucky House committee approves a bill aimed to fund community projects, by raising the local sales taxes.
It’s called the local option sales tax. The measure allows voters to decide on a temporary, 1% sales tax hike that raises money to pay for projects. Nearly forty states already have this in place.
Construction can be a dirty job. So can raising taxes.
“Anytime I see our taxes rising, I realize where that money’s coming from, out of my pocket,” says Jim Foreman of Owensboro.
“Nobody wants to say they would increase a tax,” adds Kirk Kirkpatrick of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce.
Lawmakers are considering allowing cities like Owensboro to use a local option sales tax, a one percent sales tax increase, to pay for development. Officials could use it for one project, figure out the cost, and let voters decide whether to raise sales taxes to pay for it. The tax would then go away once it’s paid for.
“That one percent additional sales tax would stay in that community, unlike most of the money we get now, goes to the state, and some of that comes back, all of that would be levied and aimed at that one specific project,” Kirkpatrick says. He adds the option could’ve helped build other recently completed downtown projects
“If there was this opportunity several years ago, the community of Owensboro would’ve voted to increase the sales tax by one percent to pay for the convention center. With that 1% sales tax, that entire center could’ve been paid for in two to three years,” says Kirkpatrick.
According to local option supporters LIFT Kentucky, a potential 1% option could raise more than $13 million dollars for Daviess County.
“I think it could be used for good purposes. I think there’s a need for it at times,” says Foreman.
If lawmakers approve it this session, the local option sales tax would be put on a statewide ballot.