Kentucky legislators announce local-option sales tax as 2015 House Bill 1 – WKYT

By Whitney Wetzel
Source: WKYT

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.


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