Kentucky’s Local Option Sales Tax Push Gets Boost From Speaker Greg Stumbo

A push to allow Kentucky’s local governments to fund projects with  a 1-percent sales tax increase has won the support of key leadership in the state House.

All it took was a conversation between House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Gov. Steve Beshear, both Democrats.

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

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

Although he supports the idea, House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, a Jamestown Republican, criticized Stumbo for the apparent about-face.

“It shows that he’s playing every side that he can,” Hoover says. “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 approved in the legislature, the measure would go before voters this November.

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