By Whitney Wetzel
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Kentucky legislative leaders announced a local-option sales tax will be the focus of House Bill 1 during the 2015 Regular Session.
The proposal, known as LIFT, stands for Local Investments for Transformation. A local-option sales tax would allow local communities to create a source of revenue through a limited and specific sales tax increase, that has a pre-determined end date.
Those funds would then be invested back into the community for voter-approved infrastructure projects that are decided by the citizens. That could include improvements to roads, firehouses, and parks among many other things.
Currently, 37 states allow their communities to vote on whether to install a temporary sales tax dedicated to a specific project. Kentucky’s proposal would require a penny or less.
Supporters believe giving local communities this option will bring new businesses to Kentucky.
“If the local communities get these dollars through this local effort, it will actually have a positive impact on the states budget,” said Greg Stumbo, Kentucky House Speaker. “Instead of having to spend state dollars for these projects in these local communities, it would potentially free up some state dollars.”
If this proposed constitutional amendment is approved next year, voters will have the opportunity to support or oppose it in the November 2016 election.
Amendments to the state constitution can only appear on the ballot in even-number years.