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Senate Moves to Curtail Special Taxing Districts
By West Kentucky Star Staff
FRANKFORT, KY - The Kentucky Senate passed legislation on Wednesday that would require a county fiscal court or city council to approve any proposed tax by a special purpose government entity, such as a library, sewer district, or volunteer fire department.

In a press release from the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, the bill sponsor, Republican Senator Ralph Alvarado of Winchester said, "Senate Bill 25 is a bill that attempts to return Kentucky to the foundational roots of our country and, the term taxation without representation is, unfortunately, alive and well." He said that in 2014, the Kentucky State Auditor found more than 1,200 special districts had collected $1.5 billion in taxes and fees.
 
This discovery prompted legislation that required special purpose government entities to hold public meetings before increasing taxes and fees and also to give special reports to fiscal courts regarding their budgets. But despite that, Alvarado explained, these districts continue to impose fees and raise taxes against the will of the people.
 
“Unfortunately these districts are composed of bureaucrats and not elected officials,” Alvarado said. He also added, “I feel it is fundamentally un-American to have individuals who can impose taxes on society without those individuals having to answer for their actions at the ballot box.”
 
SB 25 was amended to exempt local airport boards. Co-sponsor Republican Senator Wil Schroder said he introduced the amendment to make sure that charges such as baggage fees, would not fall under the provisions of the bill. Schroder’s district includes the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
 
The bill passed by a 22-14 vote. It now goes to the House for further consideration.

Published 11:32 AM, Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018
Updated 06:14 AM, Thursday Feb. 15, 2018

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