Ky. League of Cities Pushes for Local Option Sales Tax, 9-1-1 Fee Increase – WKMS

By Stu Johnson
Source: WKMS

The Kentucky League of Cities is heading to Frankfort this week with a full legislative agenda. Near the top are two long standing issues: stabilization of funding for emergency 9-1-1 services, and giving cities the option of pursuing a local sales tax. League Executive Director Jon Steiner says it’s all about flexibility.

“Local home rule for cities. Give cities options, so they don’t have to go to Frankfort and beg for money,” Steiner said. “More tools in the toolbox, local stewardship, local control, let the citizens have a voice, and really let cities control their growth, their patterns, their destinies.”

KLC Deputy Director J.D. Chaney says the league is seeking an increase in the monthly 9-1-1 fee for cell phone users. He says currently over half of the funding for emergency notification services across the state comes from local governments’ general fund.

“And it is mainly coming out of general fund, diverting those resources that were typically used for other city services, public services for the community, because they don’t have an effective way to replace that lost revenue coming from the landline.”

Kentucky lawmakers return to Frankfort tomorrow to continue with the 2015 session.

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