State Auditor Adam Edelen is hoping lawmakers can reach an agreement next week on a proposal to better regulate more than 1,200 special taxing districts across Kentucky, what Edelen calls “ghost government.” Special taxing districts include local airport boards, water districts, and community action agencies. The bill has passed the House and Senate, but the Senate’s version would give oversight of the taxing districts to county governments, something Edelen opposes.
“It’s going to go to the conference committee where the House and Senate will negotiate it. And surely we’re not going to lose what is generally considered to be a reform bill that is sweeping and historic by nature to some petty disagreement that doesn’t even apply to the bill,” he said. Edelen says granting county fiscal courts authority over the districts could lead to politics getting in the way of public services. A report published by the auditor’s office last November found that Kentucky special taxing districts spend a total of $2.7 billion each year.