Local citizens have been receiving a robocall from a group identifying itself as Americans for Tax Reform. The opening statement makes the following claim:
"Your mayor is siding with liberal activists who want to raise taxes on grocery bags, water bottles, cups and takeout containers."
The call is referencing Senate Bill 82 -- Auxiliary Containers Disposition. (Here's a link to the description of the bill: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/18RS/SB82.htm)
The Kentucky League of Cities has researched claims made by ATR about Kentucky's mayors and released the following statement:
"This is blatantly untrue and an attempt to intimidate constituents into advocating for Senate Bill 82. Americans for Tax Reform is an outside special interest group based out of Washington, D.C., trying to influence Kentucky.
Here are some facts offered by KLC:
Fact 1: Senate Bill 82 goes against the tenets of home rule. It would dictate what local governments can and cannot do.
Fact 2: The bill prohibits local government from adopting ordinances or regulations concerning use, prohibition or taxation of an auxiliary container. No city in Kentucky has indicated any interest in making any law that relates to auxiliary containers. Still, enacting this bill would mean allowing legislation that dictates specific local policy. Decisions on local policy are best made at the local level, says KLC. You know your community better than an outside interest group.
Fact 3: The bill is extremely broad. It describes an auxiliary container as any bag, cup, bottle or packaging -- whether reusable or single-use -- made of cloth, paper, plastic, foamed or expanded plastic, cardboard, corrugated material, aluminum, glass or post-consumer recycled material. The container can be used for transporting, consuming or protecting merchandise, food or beverages from or at a food service or retail facility.
Fact 4: The Kentucky Constitution does not allow cities to impose an excise tax which would include a tax on an auxiliary container.
SB 82 was introduced on Jan. 17 and has been with the State and Local Government Committee since Jan. 18.