Will Kentucky Approve Local Option Sales Tax Constitutional Amendment?
- Feb 11, 2015 | Gail Cole
Kentucky lawmakers yesterday took a step toward approving a proposed constitutional amendment that could ultimately give local governments the ability to levy local option sales and use taxes to fund specific projects.
House Bill 1, formerly called Local Investments for Transformation (LIFT), is on its way to the full House for consideration after being approved by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. If the House gives it a green light, Kentuckians will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment seeking to allow “state lawmakers to give local governments the power to levy up to a penny of local option sales and use tax for specific projects with voter approval. The tax would be eliminated with the project is paid off.”
Many people and organizations have spoken in support of House Bill One, including but not limited to the following:
- Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
- Kentucky Association of Counties
- Kentucky League of Cities
- Governor Steve Beshear
- Numerous former governors
Yet the bill does not have universal support. Democratic Representative Jim Wayne called it “a regressive tax that would hurt the poor by taking larger amounts of their limited incomes.” And a representative from the Kentucky Retail Federation said a local option tax “would put Kentucky businesses at a disadvantage with out-of-state, mail-order firms that wouldn’t be collecting the extra sales tax” (The Courier Journal).
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