Local Option Sales Tax Fortune’s Improve

Mar 21, 2014

Credit LRC Public Information

A series of bills that would amend the state constitution and implement a local option sales tax to fund city and county projects has won support in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said yesterday he now supports the bill following a conversation with Gov. Steve Beshear, and expects it to head to the House floor for a vote.

House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins says the bill will likely be voted on Today in order to give the Senate enough time to discuss it.

“I know that the issue is being worked right now, and don’t know myself … exactly where the vote count is, but I know there’s a lot of work going in by a lot of people to see if the votes are there to be able to bring it out here and debate it and see if it can more forward,” he said.

After spending the past 50 days of the session criticizing the measure championed by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he now supports legislation to allow local governments to fund capital construction projects with a new sales tax.

Neither he nor Gov. Beshear shed light on how the arm-twisting occurred, but the announcement has suddenly breathed new life into the issue, which may come up for a floor vote in the House as early as Friday.

Although he supports the idea, GOP Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover criticized Stumbo for the apparent about-face.

“It shows that he’s playing every side that he can,” Hoover said. “He’s concerned about the political ramifications in November, and he’s playing every side that he can on every issue that he can and this is another example.”

If passed, the measure would go before voters this November, and would implement a 1% sales tax on top of Kentucky’s 6% sales tax to fund local projects.