Fiscal court passes second-reading on insurance tax

Published 11:31 am Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fiscal Court passed a second reading of an insurance tax ordinance last week which would impose a 9 percent license fee on insurance companies in the unincorporated areas of Jessamine County.
This ordinance came about from a workshop with department heads and an open house held last month to discuss improvements and ways to increase revenue in the county.
Currently, the City of Nicholasville’s insurance premium rate is established at 9 percent, which will increase to 10 percent on July 1st. The City of Wilmore also currently has an insurance premium tax set at 7 percent.
Although, not all magistrates agreed upon the new tax last Tuesday as Magistrate Tim Vaughn immediately made a motion to amend the tax rate to 4.5 percent instead of the set forth 9 percent for residents.
“Point of order,” Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl said. “Ordinances cannot be amended at this point. You have to publish it beforehand. You cannot amend it. It is whether for or against.”
A motion was made to accept the second reading by Magistrate Kent Slusher which was then seconded by Magistrate Terry Meckstroth.
“I believe this tax is going to be bringing in more than we estimated,” Magistrate Terry Meckstroth said. “I know that my constituents are going to be paying more than anyone else in the county. The burden will not be shared equally and there will also be a burden on the people living in mobile home parks. According to my calculations, at 9 percent, this tax is going to bring in over $2 million a year. Instead of going with the 9 percent, I think that we should wait and see what the 4.5 percent brings in and go from there.”
Judge-Executive David West addressed the court, asking if any other magistrates had any further comments. Hearing none, West asked for a roll call to be taken for a vote.
Magistrates Justin Ray, Gary Morgan, Paul Floyd and Kent Slusher voted in favor of the new ordinance with Magistrates Tim Vaughn and Terry Meckstroth voting against it.
The increase in revenue from the new ordinance will be deposited into the Jessamine County general fund. The funds will be budgeted for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
In a previous statement West said, ““It is similar to what Wilmore and Nicholasville have had in place for years. Nicholasville and Wilmore already do (this) and there are 40 plus counties in Kentucky that have insurance premiums.”