House Bill Aims To Regulate Kentucky's "Ghost Government"

Feb 6, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A new bill aimed at increasing the transparency of Kentucky’s more than 1,200 special taxing districts was unveiled Tuesday in Frankfort.

The proposal would require special taxing districts, which can levy taxes and fees for water, sewer, libraries, and other services but are typically overseen by non-elected boards, to submit annual financial reports to an online state registry.

Last year State Auditor Adam Edelen concluded a report that found some special tax districts wasting tax dollars. Any solution, Edelen said, would require real accountability.

"There must be real teeth to compel compliance among those who enjoy the comfort of operating at a ghost government," Edelen said.

Tuesday Edelen was joined by House Speaker Greg Stumbo to introduce House Bill 1, a 102-page proposal that has bipartisan support.

Edelen says the registry would cost close to $250,000, but would eventually support itself through fees collected from the special districts.