Local Option Sales Tax Facing Uphill Battle In House

Mar 11, 2014

Tuesday brought good news and bad news for supporters of a Local Option Sales Tax in Kentucky.

The tax legislation successfully emerged from a House committee, but House Speaker Greg Stumbo is throwing cold water on the proposal.

Proponents of the Local Option Sales Tax, including Lexington mayor Jim Gray, argue giving communities the option to temporarily raise the sales tax by up to one percent could fund a host of sought after local projects. Communities would vote on increases, which would expire once the funds are raised.

Speaker Stumbo has worried aloud that the bill could hamper efforts to raise the sales tax statewide in the future. Louisville mayor Greg Fischer told reporters that the speaker’s comments don’t necessarily spell the end of the legislation.

"I would characterize his comments as broad. I mean, one day he's favorable, the next day he's not so favorable. So it appears to me he's still trying to make up his mind what he wants to do, but obviously this move out of the committee today is a big deal and we'll just keep educating folks," Fischer said.

If approved, a Local Option Sales Tax would require a constitutional amendment.