Northern Kentucky Chamber lists priorities for 2015 including LIFT – cn|2

By Don Weber
Source: cn|2

CRESCENT SPRINGS — The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is focusing on eight initiatives in the upcoming 2015 legislative session, including a local option sales tax proposal which is being pushed across the state by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The local sales tax option requires the General Assembly to provide a Constitutional Amendment to be voted on state-wide. If passed, any sales tax increase would then be put on the ballot.

“It’s a tool for local governments who have a specific project in mind,” said Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Trey Grayson. “We believe if the community wants to do a little bit of self-help and not rely of Frankfort or Washington to do their project and to pay for it themselves, or pay for it through folks who are shopping or otherwise paying that sales tax, it’s a good investment.”

The local sales tax option is one of eight legislative priorities that the chamber recently unveiled for the 2015 session beginning with Public-Private Partnership or P3 legislation.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce also wants to see funding for Northern Kentucky University and other state schools based on performance initiatives instead of the current system of specified predetermined amounts.

Currently, Northern Kentucky University is the lowest funded per capita of any four-year state institution.

“This is a way for us to be smarter about how we spend our post secondary dollars,” Grayson said. “Let’s set up some goals and lets tell our institutions this is what we want you to do with the money that we are giving you.”

While the chamber says they have interest in more than eight issues, members thought it would be more productive to whittle the list down to a smaller number of high priority issues which allows for a more concerted and powerful regional approach.

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