Kentucky House Passes Local Option Sales Tax – WKMS

Source: WKMS

The state House on Tuesday passed legislation that would allow Kentucky local governments to temporarily raise the sales tax by as much as 1 percent to funds local projects.

Sixty-two House member voted for the bill, which seeks to modify the state constitution and required at least 60 votes in favor.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, a major supporter of the bill, briefly showed some relief in Frankfort after the House vote.

“Well, this is just one stop along the way, so getting it out of the House obviously is really critical point in the process. That’s great,” Fischer said. “But we’ll be going to work here in 15 minutes thinking about what the Senate strategy is and going after that.”

Under the proposed legislation, local voters would vote to temporarily increase the sales tax, which would expire once the needed funds for the project had been raised.

Rep. Jim Wayne, a Democrat from Louisville, opposed the legislation, saying that any increase in sales taxes would disproportionately impact people in poor neighborhoods.

“The people pushing this legislation are not from those neighborhoods,” Wayne said. “One of the things they’ve never talked about is considering how you would have the wealthy people pay more of their fair share in state and local taxes.”

Several rural representatives said their constituents wouldn’t benefit from the bill because they tend to shop in the big cities.

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