Restaurant group opposes new tax proposal
A bill has been introduced in the state legislature to allow a new tax to be levied on Kentucky families, and the Kentucky Restaurant Association is actively working to defeat it.
HB 368 would authorize every city in Kentucky to impose a tax of up to 3 percent on the meals you eat in a local restaurant or the carry-out orders you pick up.
The legislation would effectively increase the tax you pay on food and beverages by 50 percent, by adding a 3 percent local restaurant tax on top of the 6 percent state sales tax.
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Families are still struggling to make ends meet and the restaurant industry recognizes that financial reality. Our members have experienced a significant drop in their own revenues as our customers have reacted to the economic downturn. The Kentucky Restaurant Association is convinced that another tax on our customers is simply more than they can — or should be expected — to bear.
If House Bill 368, under consideration in the Kentucky House of Representatives, passes your city will have the ability to tax every prepared meal you purchase to finance what these government officials decide are "quality of life" expenditures. The Kentucky Restaurant Association doesn't believe restaurant customers should be responsible for helping cities make up shortfalls in their budgeting, so we oppose HB 368 and hope you will too.
Kentucky Restaurant Association president and chief executive officer
A true Democrat is all about helping the poor; we are all heart.
The Tea Party conservative Republicans are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. Their obstructionist, mean, hateful daddy has taught them well. The Republicans are greedy people and are hypnotized into bowing down to the 1 percent.
Third read's a charm
I read three times Brian O'Leary's Feb. 16 commentary that Clint Eastwood should make amends. After the first read, I figured it was the same old Republican propaganda that Barack Obama is a socialist, Marxist and Hugo Chávez lover.
The second read made me think a Democrat wrote it in disguise in an attempt to make the Republicans look ignorant.
My third read made me think my first reaction was correct. O'Leary had a sprinkling of the current Republican campaign, including a vague reference to Reagan's trickle-down economics (he couldn't come right out and say it without becoming a laughingstock). The class warfare bit is typical (I guess he figures the poor billionaires are so misunderstood and need more tax cuts). Finally, he wants the God-given freedom our country deserves, like the freedom to die because of the lack of health insurance?
Agree on a human level
I read Paul Prather's "My column proved incendiary" (Feb. 11). There are all too few people who do not fear to put their thoughts into public view. There are far too many people who are intolerant of views that displease them.
Prather and I are on opposite sides of a great theological debate. However, being human, we are on the same side of honesty, critical thinking and taking part in the anguish of trying to learn how to best treat our fellow human beings. Not too long ago Prather wrote that many atheists are fundamentalists. He was roundly excoriated by my atheist community. And I felt that was wrong. Fundamentalists of any stripe are a danger and a drag on any kind of evolutionary move to improve our species and our way of dealing with each other in a rational and humanistic way.
I am really tired of atheists referring to theists as idiots. Those who bother to think and weigh opinions and thoughts are the best of the lot. It makes no difference from which direction our thoughts come. The quality of the thoughts are far more important. Does god exist or do gods not exist. These are intellectual quests. They should not interfere with man's basic need to recognize that each of us is unique and deserves to be treated with respect and be aided when in need.
Raise the dropout age
As a student at the University of Kentucky, I am surrounded by peers who persisted through high school here in Kentucky and made it to college.
Yet not every Kentucky high school student makes it. The stark reality is that thousands of our local students drop out each year. This is an unacceptable social injustice, and one that Senate Bill 109 helps to solve.
As a recent high school graduate, I know the power of mentors and role models in helping a student graduate from high school. Without the support of my mother, I might not have made it.
But many talented students with the potential to succeed don't have a support network at home. Schools must provide that safety net if we want to have career-ready graduates and a strong economic future in Kentucky.
SB 109, as amended by a House committee, raises the dropout age from 16 to 18, reflecting the high expectations we have for our youth.
In addition, a complementary bill, SB 38, has been introduced to provide high school students stronger career counseling and advising. Together, these two bills will not only ensure that students stay in school longer but also that they receive more support during those years.
Now, it's time for Kentuckians to call their elected officials and let them know we can't let another day go by while the future of our state is at risk.
President, Students for Education Reform,University of Kentucky chapter