Local option sales tax passes Kentucky House – WDRB

By Stephan Johnson
Source: WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The Kentucky House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve the local option sales tax Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has been pushing. 

The senate approval is still needed to pass the bill, which would then put the decision in the hands of voters in the 2016 general election.

It gives communities the ability to vote on whether they want to raise money for a specific project through a one-cent sales tax increase. Then once the project is built, the tax goes away.

The measure passed in the senate 62-35, with local representatives Jim Wayne and Larry Clark voting against it.

Wayne called the measure a “regressive tax.”

“It’s an upside down tax where the people in the lower income areas — those people making say $40,000 or less per year — are paying a disproportionate amount of their money in sales tax as compared to the wealthy,” Wayne said.

Mayor Greg Fischer has been pushing for the bill’s passage saying it would help Louisville have the money to spend on special projects.

“We have to invest in our city to compete with other cities,” Mayor Fischer said. “I’m a business guy and business have got to invest to win and cities are the same way.”

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