Local option sales tax a key issue as Ky. lawmakers start 2015 l - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local option sales tax a key issue as Ky. lawmakers start 2015 legislative session

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- State lawmakers returned to Frankfort Tuesday for the start of the 2015 legislative session.

"Coming back to session is a little bit like going back to school," said State Senator Morgan McGarvey, D-District 19. "You're excited to see everybody and get started and excited to work for the year ahead." 

It was a ceremonial start to the new year, as new members were sworn in to the Kentucky General Assembly. But it's time to get down to business.

"I think we've got some big items on the agenda and I think we have the momentum to get some things accomplished," said McGarvey,

Local option sales tax is a top priority, labeled House Bill One.

"What it does is it gives communities the ability to say, 'this is how we're going to raise revenue for a specific project, and after that project is voted on by the people,' -- and once it's built the tax goes away," McGarvey said.

"Think about all the different projects people want in the community: that's where the local option comes to play," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. "And it's voter-driven, that's the key thing."

Mayor Fischer is part of a team pushing lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment that will allow people to vote on the issue.

"This is not just for metropolitan areas: this is for cities and counties all over Kentucky," Mayor Fischer said. "They all have their projects as well."

Other hot button issues include heroin, voting rights, and minimum wage. Lawmakers are anxious to hit the ground running.

"I'm excited about this session," said McGarvey. "I actually think we have potential to get things done."

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