Kentucky League of Cities CEO says restaurant tax ruling likely isn’t final word

Republished from WEKU.

A ruling by a Franklin County Circuit judge could allow at least some Kentucky cities to pass a so-called restaurant tax. The Kentucky League of Cities supports giving all cities the option, but Executive Director and CEO J.D. Chaney said it’s premature to issue an opinion on the impact of Judge Phillip Shepherd’s decision.

“There may be a motion to amend the final ruling, and then we may see appeals through the process. So it’s likely the first step on what may be a long journey through the court system than the appellate procedures that are going to going to come with it.”

Hazard and other cities sued the state, claiming they were being discriminated against by not being allowed to pass the tax. State law requires proceeds from the restaurant tax, which can’t exceed 3 percent, go to tourism-related efforts. Chaney said it’s working in places like E-town.

“You see a lot of communities like Elizabethtown — that’s the one that’s always pointed to – who took the bulk of those revenues and put it into a sportsplex infrastructure. But also, it’s used to highlight the amenities and the uniqueness of each community.”

And that, said Chaney, draws tourists. Critics of the restaurant tax say the higher bills can lead to fewer locals eating out.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.