By JOSH JAMES
The Local Option Sales Tax had trouble gaining traction in Frankfort during the last legislative session, but backers see an opening this year as awareness of the issue takes hold.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer formed the core of the pro-local option contingent in 2014. Now, after a year’s worth of education efforts by advocates, supporters are feeling the wind at their backs.
With a hearing scheduled on the initiative this week, Fischer told WUKY the bipartisan chorus is growing.
“We think there are multiple pathways to victory as people have understood the bill more. They see the benefits of it,” he said Thursday. “There is not adequate money here in Frankfort to take care of all the needs of the state and then there’s also the issue of local cities and counties wanting to step up and vote on their own projects.”
For the uninitiated, local option would provide a mechanism for communities to vote for or against funding local projects with a temporary 1 percent sales tax increase.
Both House and Senate leadership have embraced the idea, but critics worry it could put a greater burden on low-income Kentuckians.