Frankfort Local News

House Committee Quickly Passes Bill Designed to Help Kentucky Tornado Victims

A bill granting sales tax refunds for Kentuckians hit by this month’s tornadoes is swiftly moving through the General Assembly.

The measure cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue committee less than 12 hours after it was first proposed. The language granting the refunds had to be inserted into another bill, House Bill 165, because the deadline to introduce new House bills passed weeks ago.

“It is very important and I appreciate it and I know all of the committee members appreciate you working quickly and working on this, to get this issue before us before this session ends,” said committee chairman Rick Rand of the work Representative John Will Stacy and others did on the measure.

The refunds will be granted for any sales tax storm victims pay on building materials. Those who want a refund must submit receipts and proof that the materials were used for rebuilding structures damaged by tornadoes.

“You know this is a rare opportunity that we all have under extraordinary bad circumstances to do something jointly for people who all over the state are in need,” says Stacy.

Lawmakers have eight legislative days to pass the measure out of both chambers, creating a bit of urgency to do something to for victims. The full House is expected to vote on the bill before the end of the week.

Frankfort Local News

Lawmakers Propose Partial Sales Tax Refunds for Residents of Tornado-Stricken Areas

Kentucky lawmakers are planning to help home and business owners in tornado-stricken areas.

Earlier this month, tornadoes ripped through Northern and Eastern Kentucky, causing millions of dollars in damage. But lawmakers are working on legislation to give storm victims refunds on sales tax for building materials.

The plan addresses a concern that people won’t rebuild destroyed towns.

“If you were, got an insurance check or a FEMA check, you may look around and there be such devastation in your community that you might decide you want to locate somewhere else,” says Representative John Will Stacy, who lives in the hard-hit town West Liberty. “But we don’t want to leave our communities like that, we want to fix these areas and we don’t want to leave a blighted area,” Stacy says.

The proposal has the support of leadership of both parties in both legislative chambers.

At a news conference announcing the proposal, lawmakers said they are looking at other ways to help the area, but the current proposal is the only solid effort so far.