Local option sales tax and beer distribution bills move ahead in state legislature -Louisville Business First

Source: Louisville Business First

The local option sales tax amendment advocated by Mayor Greg Fischer has passed the Kentucky House.

House Bill 1 received 62 votes Thursday — two more than the number needed for an amendment to pass the House, The Courier-Journal reports.

Fischer praised the House vote that he watched from its gallery and said he thinks supporters of the local option have the votes for passage in the Senate.

“There’s a bunch of pathways to victory there,” Fischer said. “You know the more people learn about this bill, the more they’re for it, so we’re going to continue to beat that drum and hopefully the people of Kentucky will be heard.”

As Business First previously reported, if the bill is next approved by three-fifths of the members of the Senate and ratified by voters statewide — the earliest being November 2016 — then local projects could be funded through a temporary sales tax increase of up to 1 percent that would have to be approved in a local referendum.

Also on Thursday, the House Economic Development Committee voted 15-4 to send House Bill 168 to the full House. That bill would force Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) to sell two beer distributorships it owns in Louisville and Owensboro, The Courier-Journal reports.

As Business First reported last month, the bill is aimed at promoting consistency in the three-tier system that generally prevents overlapping among alcohol makers, distributors and retailers.

The bill’s sponsor, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, said after Thursday’s vote that he thinks the future of the bill is uncertain, because some of the committee members said they might not vote for it when the full House votes. They said their vote was to ensure more debate, and hopefully a compromise, The Courier-Journal story said.

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