Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)


February 27, 2013

Fairer taxes needed but won’t get the vote

Feb. 27, 2013 —     Among the 54 recommendations from last year’s blue ribbon tax commission was one to allow cities and/or counties to let voters decide if they wanted to temporarily increase the state sales tax to pay for local capital projects.

    First, a constitutional amendment to permit local imposition of sales taxes would have to be approved by voters statewide.

    If that happened, cities and counties could go to their own voters with a proposal to add one percent on all state sales taxes collected in that jurisdiction to pay for new projects.

    The temporary sales tax would expire as soon as the project was paid off, like a “sunset clause”.

    Two of Kentucky’s leading newspapers, the Louisville Courier-Journal and The Morehead News, recently had polls on local sales taxes.

    The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, found that 72 percent of its sample of 616 citizens favored the amendment to allow local referendums on sales taxes.

    However, many of those “yes” responders said they were not sure they then would vote the same way if their city or county tried to impose a local sales tax.

    Locally, The Morehead News conducted a non-scientific poll on its website. We asked readers if they would vote to add one percent to the state sales tax collected in Rowan County for the financing of capital projects, such as a new county jail.

    We received 405 responses through last Saturday and the results were overwhelmingly negative with 83 percent (335) opposing and only 17 percent (70) in favor.

    We believe that most Kentuckians realize governments at all levels need more money but the recession has created so many hardships on families that the anti-tax reaction is automatic.

    Moreover, the Tea Party and other “less is best” anti-government politicians don’t believe we are wisely using the tax revenue we already collect.

    However, in our opinion, Kentucky’s property owners should support the amendment and then each local referendum because it would mean that those who own property would not continue footing the bill for such improvements.

    Historically, Kentucky’s antiquated tax system has focused on what we own rather than what we spend, ignoring the “consumption” taxes like the sales tax on goods and services.

    The sad truth is that we don’t take advantage of the sales tax we have because of the high number of exemptions and the virtual exclusion of services.

    Hold the phone! A bill pending in the legislature would apply the sales tax to lottery tickets.

    Is nothing sacred?

Text Only
  • Politics vs. good government - 2014 edition

    There is an old saying about how legislators feel about certain issues that come before the General Assembly.

    April 23, 2014

  • Juvenile justice bill finally wins passage

    We complained in this space last month that the General Assembly, specifically the Senate, was headed down the wrong path in its handling of Senate Bill 200, a carefully-crafted, broadly supported effort to modernize Kentucky’s juvenile justice laws.

    April 16, 2014

  • Numbers say stop fussin’ and start fixin’!

    We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again. It is long past time for Republicans like U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to stop complaining about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and start working with the other party to fix the pieces of the massive law that need fixing.

    April 9, 2014

  • Benching Rupp Arena project a mistake

    Folks who believe that college basketball is more important than anything else in Kentucky apparently don’t serve in the State Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Snow days decision can wait no longer

    We had hoped this editorial would not have been necessary by the time you read it in today’s issue of the Journal-Times.

    March 26, 2014

  • Are some legislators smarter than experts?

    Ready - shoot - aim. No good deed goes unpunished. There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Frankfort way. We could go on with pithy sayings about the strange happenings at the State Capitol when the Kentucky General Assembly is in session.

    March 19, 2014

  • Shouldn’t majority rule mean smoke-free?

    Recent statewide polls show as many as 65 percent of Kentucky voters say they are in favor of outlawing smoking in workplaces and public facilities, including restaurants and bars.

    March 12, 2014

  • Legalized marijuana, hemp must be explored

    Whether you call it marijuana or cannabis or whether you believe someone can get high on industrial hemp, Kentucky is making history with both plants.

    March 5, 2014

  • We must protect against dating violence

    We were encouraged when the leadership of the Kentucky House of Representatives came forward last month with House Bill 8 to amend the domestic violence protection laws to shield unmarried individuals in dating relationships.

    February 26, 2014

  • Did Bluegrass Poll predict our future?

    Life may have become much simpler for Kentucky voters recently when the Bluegrass Poll released its most recent survey.

    February 19, 2014