Senate looking to go farther with special taxing district oversight bill

02/18/2013 10:45 AM

Senate Republicans like the general sentiment of the bill that would regulate special taxing districts like water and sewer departments and some volunteer fire agencies. But leaders in the upper chamber said Friday they expect to make changes.

“There are some of us who think that that bill doesn’t go far enough,” said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown. Thayer has sponsored bills in the past aimed at bringing transparency to those special taxing districts. Starting in 2009, the bills Thayer has pushed for required counties to approve any tax and fee increases proposed by special districts.

That’s not one of the provisions in House Bill 1.

Auditor Adam Edelen last year conducted the first review to determine how many special districts are operating in Kentucky and found 1,268. He also made recommendations to better oversee them. He told a House committee last month that some special districts already are required to report to their county governments. And all of them, under a provision in the bill, would be monitored by the Department of Local Government, an agency that reports to the governor.

Here’s Stivers and Thayer told reporters Friday about House Bill 1:

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • sam pierce wrote on February 18, 2013 11:28 AM :

    I agree with Senator Thayer that county fiscal courts should be able to approve or deny any request for a fee or tax increase by special districts. Only people directly elected by the voters should be able to make such decisions. Otherwise, there is no accountability. An editorial response in today’s Lexington Herald is of the same opinion. I hope that Senator Thayer’s views prevail.

  • viewer wrote on February 18, 2013 11:33 AM :

    The only way to stop the public thief that has been going on, is to put all money going out on a computer data base so the public can view. The auditor’s office dont have enough staff to watch all the money being stolen. Checks and balances will keep honest workers , Honest… They always talk about raising taxs , but never talk about waste and fraud. Transparency is worth weight in Gold. Show all money going out from the tax payer. Mr. Thayer you are on the right track here. Keep going for the data base…

  • Chris Tobe wrote on February 18, 2013 05:28 PM :

    MSD in Louisville has been able to pass on its millions in losses on interest rate derivative investments onto ratepayers with no real scrutiny

  • Brenda Black wrote on February 20, 2013 11:03 PM :

    If you are try to save on water or gas and electric usage, It does not work with the new billing.

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