Thu February 14, 2013
Councilwoman Madonna Flood Withdraws Support from Insurance Tax Hike Ordinance
A second Democratic Louisville Metro Council member is pulling their sponsorship of a proposal to raise the city’s tax on insurance premiums to give affordable housing initiatives a consistent revenue stream.
Councilwoman Madonna Flood, D-24, was listed as one of original seven lawmakers backing the legislation, which seeks to increase the tax by one percentage point and raise an estimated $9.7 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
But Flood now opposes the idea and says supporters put her name on the ordinance without her consent.
"No one called to discuss with me an ordinance being filed at that particular time. We talked in generalities," says Flood. "They were gathering support, but I had a ton of questions that I asked folks about that and for some reason my name appeared on the ordinance."
Supporters argue the new revenue will help fund affordable housing initiatives that are need to address homelessness and rising rent and mortgage costs. Housing advocates also argue the tax increase will be a small cost for average policyholders.
Earlier this week, Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, withdrew his support of the measure because any new revenue would first have to go to the city’s general fund, and it cannot be earmarked exclusively for the trust fund.
All nine council Republicans oppose the legislation as well as Councilman David Yates, D-25. The bill will receive its first reading on the council floor Thursday, but Flood and Blackwell say the tax increase has little chance of passing.
“I had several questions when this was first brought up," says Flood. "Am I a little bit upset? I’m just wondering where the ordinance came from when I have not even got an answer."
The remain sponsors are Democratic council members Tina Ward-Pugh, Attica Scott, Mary Woolridge, Tom Owen, and Brent Ackerson.