By WHITNEY JONES
The top legislative priority in the Kentucky House failed to pass this legislative session. The local option sales tax bill called LIFT passed the house but never made into a Senate Committee.
First District Republican Sen. Stan Humphries of Cadiz says representatives from heavy industry wanted to be exempted from charging the tax and that partially led to its demise.
“Once you get that first layer of carve out over with there was then the next level of businesses that felt like they needed to be carved out of the process or not be subject to the local option sales tax on their products,” he said.
Humphries supported the measure, saying it would allow the development of some projects needed in the first district.
But he says Senate leadership did not think it would have enough votes, so they didn’t put it to committee.
Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Aaron Dail was also disappointed LIFT did not pass. He said it was a missed opportunity.
“It means that unfortunately local control and local people won’t be able to make the decision whether or not to have a local option sales tax,” Dail said.
Dail says if all the steps had fallen in place with the current model it could have meant $5.2 million dollars in Calloway County for projects like the parks system or infrastructure updates if voters approved it. They did not pass a nickel Murray parks tax in the last election.
Humphries said the LIFT could be brought up again next year and still go to voters in 2016 if passed. It would require a ballot vote since it would require a constitutional amendment.