Ky. Alcohol, Retail Associations Behind Open Records Request on Regulatory Fees

Sep 26, 2013

A coalition of grocery and alcohol retail associations are asking an attorney to investigate Kentucky’s local taxes related to alcohol sales. 

The Commonwealth's cities and counties levy wholesale and retail alcohol-related taxes. Consumers pay a regulatory tax on each alcoholic purchase they make. 

State law requires tax revenue be used for alcohol related law enforcement costs. But the five Commonwealth associations say municipalities may not be using alcohol tax revenue appropriately.

Kentucky Retail Federation lobbyist Gay Dwyer says increasingly high taxes are leading retailers in the state to question local tax revenue.

"We would suspect that that generates quite a bit of money, and we wanted to how much money it generates, what specifically the money has been used for,  … because the statute is very clear," she said.

The city of Murray is one community with a high regulatory tax at 8 percent. City administrators have warned  City Council members through an email that the five alcohol associations may seek legislation capping regulatory fees at 6 percent.

While Dwyer says it’s a little early to begin discussions on legal or legislative action, she says the coalition is reviewing results from the open records requests now.