I was urged by John Boel to find the greatest margin of victory in a Gubernatorial race in Kentucky history. So I called the Secretary of State’s office and they only have posted records back to the early 1970′s. Beyond that, I’d have to go to Frankfort or snoop about in the official library site and I have weather duties. But I did find in 1975, Republican Bob Gable was skunked by Democrat Julian Carroll 63% to 37%. If you know of bigger landslides, feel free to let me know. I suspect in the late 19th century there may have been a wider win. I know of one Louisville mayoral election in which Charles D. Jacob defeated John Baxter by a margin in the range of 15 to 1. Baxter and Jacob battled many times for the post but I think that Baxter had become rather unpopular as illustrated by an assassination attempt prior to his big defeat.
In this case, we have the library tax. When I first moved here, I wanted to know what that 2.2% tax taken from my check was all about. No one knew. Many people I know didn’t even know that there was such a tax taken from their check. It seemed odd to me because we have a 6% sales tax, a 6% income tax and this 2.2% city tax. I’m taking this from memory but I found a book that explained the genesis. Louisville was one of the most solvent cities in America because it had a sinking fund that financed all projects. For some reason, and I can’t recall why, the power structure decided to alter the city financing. I believe it was Mayor Farnsley who had decided it wasn’t right for people living outside of the city but who worked in Louisville to enjoy city services without paying for them. It is unconstitutional for any entity except the federal or state government to tax income. So, they looked at a couple of other cities for a guide to skirt the Constitution. They came up with an occupational tax. I believe it was 1947 when that came into being. I am uncertain as to whether at that time it was levied on all people earning income from Louisville or just those living outside the city. I suspect it was for everyone as, again, I suspect it is unconstitutional for a tax to be levied on people who don ‘t have the right to vote. I may be wrong but I do know that today, its 1% for everyone. Then there is .8% for schools and .4% for TARC. That is how we arrive at the 2.2% tax. Those living outside of the city do not have the school portion taken from their checks. The library tax of .2% proposed would be added to this payroll deduction.
How this is not considered an income tax is beyond me. They tax my income before I ever see it and there is no provision for any deductions. It’s just taken. It is deductible from state and federal income taxes, but that only helps if you are able to itemize. I may re-read the book I found to see if it explains what was the matter with the old sinking fund but I suspect that public projects costs were outstripping the sinking funds ability to solely provide funding.
Occupational tax….Occupational fee…its an income tax, in my book.
Anyway, that’s the broad explanation of the tax. Again, feel free to fill in the blanks.