LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville residents are one step closer to paying more taxes on insurance premiums. The Metro Council budget committee voted to amend the city's ordinance for tax rates.
This now goes to the full Metro Council for a vote Thursday, March 21.
The increase on home, life, and marine insurance taxes were proposed to bridge a $65 million budget gap.
The increased taxes will be capped at 10 percent instead of the 15 percent proposed by Mayor Greg Fischer.
After the meeting, the mayor had this to say:
"I appreciate the work of many of our council members to address the budget challenges we face. The Budget Committee’s action today means that we can move forward with a vote by the full Council to provide the revenue needed to fill the budget gap forced upon us by the state pension obligation.
But it’s important to recognize that the ordinance as it currently stands still means cuts of $15 million in FY20, and cumulative cuts of $32 million by FY23. And that could lead to drastic reductions to critical services for residents, including cutting back on police officers, fire stations, ambulances, and other public safety needs; reducing paving and sidewalk repair, tools that fight the opioid crisis and homelessness; closing libraries, community centers, senior centers, health clinics, and many, many other programs. In addition, spreading these cuts out over several years creates an uncertainty that will make it even more difficult to recruit and retain a talented workforce. It may have the same impact on recruiting vendors and contractors at fair prices.
Since I took office, we have cut and reorganized services; we climbed out of a global recession and grown into a city on the cusp of being America’s next breakout city. Cutting these investments in our people and places would bring that momentum to a standstill, grow inequity in our communities, and take away services that families, children, businesses and our most vulnerable depend on.
I understand that the Council feels some cuts are needed, and I am willing to work with them on a reasonable solution; I am always open to ways to make our government more efficient. Still, Council must be very clear on which cuts they believe are acceptable to fill the shortfall this ordinance creates, and my priority will be to limit the impact to services that help our residents. Over the course of the next 7 days, I will work tirelessly to urge Council to amend the ordinance to provide more funding for needed services.
I urge all residents who care about these services and our city’s future to contact their council member."
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