Kentucky City Has Home Rule Powers
- Mar 12, 2015 | Gail Cole
The Home rule entitles local jurisdictions to have greater autonomy over many matters, including local taxation.
State Senator Chris Girdler asked the attorney general to determine whether not a city has the right to withdraw from an existing joint city-county tourism commission and then assess a separate tax to generate revenue for the city’s tourism board.
The Kentucky Attorney General has determined it does. The state’s home rule provision entitles the city to “withdraw from a joint tourism commission” because the law does “not expressly prohibit this action.”
The AG opinion acknowledges “the possibility of multiple tourism boards does create the possibility of additional taxation on the transient citizens of the state.” It continues:
“We cannot say that any adverse effect on the transient citizens of the state would outweigh the possible benefit to the municipality of additional revenue for tourism promotion. Further, the legislature seems to have expressly allowed for multiple tourism commissions, and thus multiple taxation, by allowing local governments to act separately in forming tourism commissions….”
Any separate transient room tax, if imposed, cannot exceed 3%. For additional information, please read OAG15007.
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