Past president of Maker’s Mark talks to local business owners about a local option sales tax – WFIE

By: Hillary Simon
Source: WFIE


Small business owners and the Kyndle Chambers of Commerce met Thursday morning in Henderson to talk about the option of locals being able to vote on new building projects.

Unlike most states, Kentucky does not have an amendment that allows for this. Leading the discussion this morning was Bill Samuels Jr, past president of Maker’s Mark, who advocated for a local option sales tax.

Samuels said one thing a lot of the locals have been talking about is building a Convention Center and a Murray State University building.

The city can’t do that without this new bill that is being looked at by officials in Frankfurt. Samuels said the revenue gained will help make the city’s quality of life better.

“The chamber here is very progressive and understand there are needs in the community that the citizens may decide to fund with this local option sales tax. They would like the opportunity to find out, but they can’t do that until we get the constitutional amendment”, Samuels said.

How the sales tax would work is the people of Kentucky can vote yes or no on a structural project through a ballot.

If it’s approved it will be funded through a 1%t sales tax.

The bill will be discussed by state officials in Frankfurt this week.

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