Stumbo Floats School Tax Idea

By Schreiner, Bruce | Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current), January 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Stumbo Floats School Tax Idea


Schreiner, Bruce, Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)


FRANKFORT, Ky. - House Speaker Greg Stumbo on Friday floated the idea of a constitutional amendment that would let Kentucky voters decide if they want to raise the statewide sales tax to generate more revenue for schools. Stumbo said the proposal still being formulated would set up an Educational Excellence Trust Fund. It's a new twist to the debate over education funding, looming as a key issue in the 2014 General Assembly session that starts Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Stumbo raised the idea of letting voters decide whether to add 1 cent to the state sales tax rate to generate money for the trust fund. He said the increase would generate about $500 million a year.

If lawmakers approved the proposal, it would be placed on the ballot for voters in November.

"There seems to be a trend,.. legislators want to see people vote on things," he said.

The idea drew criticism from Senate President Robert Stivers, lessening its prospects in the Republican-led Senate.

"This seems to be a typical ploy of his party," he said. "They just think throwing money at an issue is the solution."

Stivers, R-Manchester, said the education debate should include efforts to improve performance in elementary and secondary schools, especially among failing schools. Charter schools were among the ideas he touted.

Gov. …

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