- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Tax would go
May I congratulate you and your staff on the accuracy of the facts in the subject editorial that appeared Friday in The News-Enterprise on (“Legislature must clear up classification mess”). The editorial gives praise where praise is due and blame where blame is due.
However, the conclusion in the last paragraph is flawed. The editorial concludes; “Whatever happens, even if Elizabethtown ends up in its rightful class, the transition is not likely to affect the city’s restaurant tax.”
The restaurant tax will be history with correct classification. KRS 81.026(1) states: “When a city has been assigned by the General Assembly to another class, it shall thereafter be governed by the laws relating to the class to which it has been assigned, but the transfer from one class to another shall not affect any ordinance theretofore enacted by the city, except that any ordinance in conflict with the laws relating to cities of the class which the city has been assigned shall be repealed to the extent it so conflicts.”
Elizabethtown is the 15th largest city in Kentucky. None of the cities of equal or larger size remain in fourth class and none have a restaurant tax. With a population of 25,000, Elizabethtown is a second-class city, per Section 156 of the Kentucky Constitution. Each member of the current city administration took an oath to comply with the Kentucky Constitution. The city attorney has the responsibility to see that the city complies with the law, not violate it.
Elizabethtown advertises its true population to the world in its brochures and Web site, yet refuses to report its true population to the General Assembly to avoid correct reclassification. The current administration obviously clings to a fourth-class status to collect an illicit restaurant tax and avoid mayoral term limits. This unjust scheme, collecting $2 million yearly for a tourism bureau appointed by the mayor, can be terminated by correct city classification or a change in council members.
Thank you and your staff for your interest and efforts to correctly reclassify Elizabethtown. Elizabethtown was assigned fourth-class status in 1916, the year automobiles were first used in a funeral in this city.
Elizabethtown should have been assigned third-class status in 1957 and second-class in 1997. We now have a second-class city operating with a fourth-class government. With The News-Enterprise supporting the efforts of our state representatives and a new city council, Elizabethtown’s government can be brought up to speed and enjoy the advantages of a second-class city.
Keeping your eye on the ball
It is quite disturbing that the lack of proper focus in today’s politics has reached a local level.
In the April 30 The News-Enterprise there was an article about the proposed $12 to $13 million for a new government building. Recently, Elizabethtown created a new tax to fund a sports complex spending millions of dollars.
Several days ago on the same page of the newspaper there were two articles. One about the $2 million shortage in funds for the Hardin County school system. The other talked about options to spend millions on government complexes.
Hardin County Schools departments had group meetings to discuss how to save money to cover the shortfall. Our government has discussed ways to spend money.
It is very sad we have to consider things such as not buying books, increasing student-to- teacher ratios, cutting teaching positions and eliminating field trips. On the other hand, it is even more sad in the economic times in which we live with gas prices approaching $4 per gallon, food prices increasing, health-care costs increasing and other critical elements of everyday life out of control that we even consider spending such funds for items not critical.
Our children are the future of this community as well as our country. Their education should absolutely be a priority over the above mentioned spending. As Kentucky is a sports-orientated state, I think “keeping our eye on the ball” should be something we as a people and our government should be doing. Of course this is just my opinion, we are all entitled to that much. I would ask that our local officials please consider things that are most important to its citizens. The needs of the many should outweigh the wants of a few.