Local Option Bill Filed in Ky. House with 17 Bipartisan Sponsors – LouisvilleKY.gov

Companion bill in Senate filed earlier in the week

Frankfort, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2014) — Seventeen members of the Kentucky House of Representatives today filed a bill to give Kentucky citizens the right to vote on investing in local projects important to their communities.

Rep. Tommy Thompson (D-Owensboro and the House Majority Whip) is the primary sponsor for House Bill 399. Co-sponsors — Republicans, Democrats and legislators from metropolitan and rural communities — are:

1. Tom Burch (D-Louisville)
2. Denny Butler (D-Louisville)
3. John “Bam” Carney, House Minority Whip, (R-Campbellsville)
4. Jeff Donohue (D-Louisville)
5. Kelly Flood (D-Lexington)
6. Jim Glenn (D-Owensboro)
7. Jim Gooch (D-Providence)
8. Derrick Graham (D-Frankfort)
9. Richard Heath (R-Mayfield)
10. Jeff

Hoover, House Minority Floor Leader, (R-Jamestown)
11. Terry Mills (D-Lebanon)
12. Sannie Overly, House Majority Caucus Chair, (D-Paris)
13. Steve Riggs (D-Louisville)
14. Rita Smart (D-Richmond)
15. John Tilley (D-Hopkinsville)
16. Brent Yonts (D-Greenville)

“Local control and local decisions are the most fundamental aspects of government. That’s why I believe it’s time for the state to empower local governments to invest in their future,” Thompson said. “HB399 will be the vehicle for people to have a voice in the shape and direction of their community.”

“With the Senate bill filed earlier this week, and now the House bill, the local option has shown it has wide support — and for good reason. This is about direct American democracy, giving people the right to vote that citizens in 37 other states already have,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Polls show that this is resonating with Kentuckians, 60 percent of whom want this new right.”

Bill Samuels, a member of the LIFT Kentucky Coalition, applauded Thompson and the co-sponsors for leading on this initiative that is important for all Kentucky cities and counties.

HB 399, like its companion Senate Bill 135, would amend Section 181 of the Kentucky Constitution to allow for up to a one percent sales tax that would be levied in a city or county for specific capital projects. The projects and the tax would be put to voters in a referendum and, if approved by a majority, money collected would be used for the project or projects — and when the projects are paid for, the tax goes away.

The bills, which now await committee hearings, must be approved by three-fifths of the Senate and House before the local option is put to Kentucky voters in November.

The amendment, according to both versions of the bill, would read:

“Are you in favor of giving local voters a new right to approve or reject the funding of specific local projects that would be paid for by a temporary local sales tax of no more than one percent, and that would expire when the projects are completed, as authorized by the General Assembly?”

A Bluegrass Poll released this week showed that 60 percent of Kentuckians want the right to vote on local projects. The support was deep across all party lines, ideological lines and areas of the state, the poll showed.

 

Source: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/Mayor/News/2014/2-14-14+local+option+bill+filed+in+house.htm

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