By Joey Brown
Source – WAVE
FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) – A local-option sales tax will be the focus of House Bill 1 during the 2015 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, it was announced on Friday.
The proposal is known as LIFT, which stands for Local Investments for Transformation.
Currently, 37 states allow their communities to vote on whether they would like to institute a temporary sales tax that is entirely dedicated to a specific project. They range from parks, arenas and convention centers to new infrastructure specifically designed to lure new businesses to Kentucky.
The temporary sales tax in Kentucky would amount to a penny or less in the LIFT proposal.
“This legislation is truly democracy at work, because it will be up to voters to decide whether to approve this constitutional amendment, and then communities will be able to decide whether they want to use this tool,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg. “Many other states have had great success with this approach, and I hope Kentucky can join them.”
Stumbo was joined by House Majority Whip Tommy Thompson, House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly in unveiling House Bill 1 in Frankfort.
“Local control and local decisions are the most fundamental aspects of government,” said Thompson. “That’s why I believe it’s time for the state to empower local governments to invest in their future. HB 1 will be the vehicle for people to have a voice in the shape and direction of their community.”
“Communities should be empowered in every way possible,” said Fischer. “Giving citizens more say in their future helps create vibrant places that will attract new talent, new jobs, and new opportunities. Public surveys have consistently shown there’s overwhelming support across the Commonwealth for local option — people want and deserve the right to vote.”
If the proposed constitutional amendment is approved by the General Assembly in 2015, voters will have the opportunity to vote on the measure during the November 2016 election, since amendments can only appear on the ballot in even-numbered years. Communities would then vote to decide whether to move forward with building the project they choose.