March 20, 2014

Publisher's Notebook: City should pass restaurant tax



But it won’t happen in a timely manner unless the city passes the restaurant tax and procures a steady stream of revenue, estimated at about $2 million a year, to build and maintain this needed infrastructure.

Along with passing the tax, the council needs to consider and implement three recommendations to make the tax more palatable to citizens.

First, council members need to go on record that money from the tax will only be used for tourism and recreational activities as currently mandated. A legislative effort in Frankfort could give cities more flexibility to dump restaurant tax money into their general funds. But that would be a waste and won’t help London take care of its pressing needs.

Secondly, the new city tourism commission must work hand in hand with the existing London-Laurel County Tourism Commission. There really is no need for two tourism commissions here, and the city handled the formation of its new commission very poorly, which led to a lot of questions and negativity about the proposed restaurant tax.

So, the pressure is on all those appointed tourism officials to show they can work together without a duplication of services and without creating their own little fiefdoms. We don’t need a new tax to create a new government bureaucracy.

After some initial surprise and concern over the city’s tourism commission, there are signs that the two groups are finding ways to work together. It’s crucial that they do.

Thirdly, the city council needs to reassess its commitment to the wellness park currently under construction at College Park. It doesn’t make any sense to spend millions of dollars developing a park that no one is excited about. In this case, if you build it, no one will come.

London and its citizens will be better served with a new city park within walking distance of downtown. That would tie everything together and make the downtown area even more vibrant and alive.

No one likes paying more taxes, but people are more receptive if they know what the money will be used for. The money generated by the restaurant tax will certainly make London and Laurel County a better place to live.

We have the need. City council members have the opportunity. Now, all they need is the vision and the courage.

Text Only
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results