A recent editorial by the Lexington Herald-Leader makes the case for cities and local governments to have more taxing authority and claims that this will make cities more competitive:
How can Kentucky cities compete in a 21st-century economy when their hands are tied by a 19th-century constitution?
That question should rank high on the list for consideration by Gov. Steve Beshear’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform as it enters the home stretch of a statewide listening tour.
The mayors of Kentucky’s two largest cities have already told the tax reform commission that voters should be given the option of approving a local sales tax for capital projects.
The state constitution prohibits local governments from levying a sales tax, which makes Kentucky one of 14 states in which cities and counties lack that authority.
This puts Kentucky cities at a disadvantage when it comes to providing the amenities and infrastructure that other cities can offer.
Is more revenue the answer? Perhaps the Lexington Herald-Leader and state representatives should consider a reduction in spending instead of squeezing Kentuckians with an added sales tax.
Also, state and city leaders should consider the possibility that if a local sales tax is levied, citizens may vote with their feet and leave for greener tax pastures.