Local Option Sales Tax Gets Support From All Living Kentucky Governors

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s push for a local option sales tax in Kentucky has gotten support from all the state’s living former governors.

Fischer is again scheduled to testify Tuesday to a House committee about the taxing option, which would allow communities to impose a temporary sales tax to fund specific projects with voter approval.  Fischer expects the committee to vote on the proposal.

The local option sales tax has been a top issue for Fischer in recent months. On Monday, Fischer issued brief statements from Gov. Steve Beshear and all the state’s living ex-governors supporting the tax option, which supporters call LIFT, or “local investment for transformation.”

“Kentucky communities need to have every tool at their disposal to brand themselves as a great place to live and work and attract expanding companies and talented workers,” said Ernie Fletcher, who Beshear succeeded and was Kentucky’s first Republican chief executive since 1971 “This could be a smart, effective strategy for communities who want to use it, and it should be up to those communities.”

Added former Gov. Julian Carroll, now a Democratic state senator representing Frankfort: “This is a progressive step that can help move individual communities and our entire commonwealth forward, creating jobs and a stronger quality of life.”

Former Govs. Paul Patton, Brereton Jones, Martha Layne Collins, John Y. Brown and Wendell Ford also issued support for the local option sales tax.

But the proposal also has critics. Last week, state Rep. Jim Wayne, a Louisville Democrat, during a hearing last week noted that the tax would place a greater burden on lower-income Kentuckians than on wealthier residents.

“All sales taxes hurt the poor and working class much, much more than they hurt the wealthy people,” Wayne said. 

Joseph Lord

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

@joseph_Lord

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