Kentucky House’s Top Priority Doesn’t Make It Through Senate – WKMS

 WHITNEY JONESSource: WKMS

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.

What People Are Saying

  • …embodies common-sense, good government principles that most conservatives and Republicans profess to support. It puts power at the local level closest to the people; is taxation with direct representation since the citizens have the right to vote on it; has high accountability by being tied to specific purposes; taxes consumption instead of savings or work; and sunsets instead of continuing indefinitely.

    John David Dyche, conservative columnist
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • …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
  • 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
  • …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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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