Local-option sales tax gets top billing in Kentucky House for 2015 session – WDRB

By Chris Otts
Source: WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s local-option sales tax proposal will be the Kentucky House of Representatives’ top-priority legislation during the 2015 session of the General Assembly, which begins next month.

On Thursday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s office said the proposal to allow local governments to adopt a sales tax will be House Bill 1.

Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, another big proponent of the legislation, will join Stumbo and other House leaders in unveiling the legislation at the Capitol on Friday.

If it passes the General Assembly in 2015, the proposal would still need to be ratified by voters in a statewide referendum in the fall of 2016.

According to last year’s version of the bill, city and county governments would be allowed to ask voters for an increase of up to 1 percentage point, on top of the statewide sales tax of 6 percent, to pay for local projects.

Voters in each city or county would have to approve the levy in an election. The tax would expire after a few years unless re-authorized by voters.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved. 

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