By Don Weber
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.