Some sales tax changes need to be rolled back, lawmaker says

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Some tweaking may be made next year to changes enacted during the 2018 legislative session to Kentucky’s sales tax laws.


House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, will propose legislation that would return a sales tax exemption on the purchase of admission tickets sponsored by any non-profit, charitable or religious organization.


“There was clearly never any intent for a tax on these types of purchases, but unfortunately the Department of Revenue has interpreted things differently,” Osborne said.  “What this bill does is clarify a portion of the law so that admission to events sponsored by these organizations are not taxed in the future. We will continue to evaluate other concerns and misinterpretations and make sure the bill is being interpreted as the legislature intended."


The tax exemption would also be extended to property taxes on properties owned by public charities, similar to legislation introduced this year by Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, who says charities which help and improve communities should not be taxed.


"The way the courts and revenue department have interpreted the current language in the past have said elderly and disabled people living in non-profit living communities, such as assisted living facilities, retirement communities, church homes, places like Home of the Innocents, Cedar Lake Lodge, Wendell Foster and others are not subject to property tax,“ DeCesare said.


Without this clarifying language, DeCesare says, “the residents of the facilities will be hit with property tax bills they have not planned for or can afford. This would be devastating to these groups of individuals who are either living on a fixed income or have minimal or no income.”


Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, the House Minority Caucus Chair, is also promising to file a legislative fix for the 2019 session.  “This law, which was written in secret and passed entirely by the majority on the same day the public first saw it, is filled with numerous unintended consequences,” he said.


Keene adds he fears it will hurt those who depend the most on those charities.  “Are we going to tax things like Vacation Bible School next?  What we need is a more common-sense tax reform approach that actually takes the public’s concerns into account.”


Some of the other changes adding a six percent sales tax include:


--Extended warranty services


--Facility/event admission fees


--Indoor tanning services


--Labor charges for installation or repair of tangible person property, digital property or services sold


--Landscape services


--Limousine services


--Laundry and dry cleaning


--Non-medical diet and weight reducing services


--Pet care and veterinary services for dogs and cats


--Campground rental

 

The 2019 legislative session begins on Jan. 8.

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