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Local News

March 25, 2014

Restaurant tax passes second reading

Commission will take over fireworks and other city tourism activities

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

Councilman Danny Phelps, who voted against the tax in the first reading, mentioned that the ordinance did not include anything about nepotism.  Mayor Troy Rudder  explained that would be part of their bylaws, once they are finalized. 

Rudder addressed rumors that the Kentucky League of Cities was seeking legislation to allow a portion of the restaurant tax to go into the city’s general fund for quality of life enhancements.

“Yesterday I talked to a KLC attorney who stays with the legislators every day and he said the bill was never filed,” Rudder said.

Rudder went on to explain that if the legislation ever is presented and passed, the city ordinance takes precedent over the legislation and if somehow the legislation was worded in a way to repeal the city ordinance, they could always change it.

“I can’t use any of that money; it has a separate audit every year. It’s something that has to follow the letter of the law,” Rudder added.

Councilman Jim Hayes agreed that the tax money should always be used for tourism and tourism only.

“I can say, for one, if that bill ever passed, I would be the first one to make a motion to have a reading to repeal the restaurant tax because that’s not what it’s for,” Hayes said.

The city will, however, ask the city tourism commission pay for tourism events the city has paid for in the past.

“I want to make it clear that I think all of us know that the city is involved in tourism activities already.  This money would go to subsidize.  I think it’s clear to everyone,” said Hayes.

Rudder gave some examples of tourism activities that the city has paid for in the past that would now be overseen and funded by the new tourism commission.

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