Local tax option a possibility in Kentucky – WYMT

By Mitchell Grogg
Source: WYMT

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT)- Kentuckians could soon approve up to a one percent local tax to fund specific local projects.

“Shouldn’t be a great impact for every $100 somebody’s going to pay a dollar tax, so I don’t think that’s over the top,” said Jabo Clemons, owner of Jabo’s Coal River Grille in Hazard.

For the tax to happen, the bill would have to pass and be voted on as a constitutional amendment. The earliest possibility for Kentucky voters to decide on a possible amendment is 2016.

The tax would be voted on by communities for specific infrastructure projects. After the project is funded, the tax would go away.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo supports the option.

“If these local communities get these dollars through this local effort it will actually have a positive impact upon the state’s budget so that instead of having to spend state dollars on these projects in these local communities it would potentially free up some state dollars,” said Stumbo

Clemons also likes the idea of people seeing the results of the tax.

“You know, if it’s going towards a good cause and people could look back and see exactly what the money’s being spent for I think the ends would justify the means,” said Clemons.

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