FRANKFORT — Efforts are underway to create a standard occupational license tax form for Kentucky businesses and place current forms used by those businesses in one online location as mandated by the 2012 General Assembly, a state legislative committee heard Wednesday.
House Bill 277, sponsored by Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, and Interim Joint Committee on Local Government Co-Chair Rep. Steve Riggs, D-Louisville, mandates that a standard occupational license tax return form for use by all local taxing districts in Kentucky be in place by mid 2017. The form will replace dozens of forms currently used by local taxing districts across the state, according to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose office is responsible for implementing HB 277.
Until the standard form is in use, Grimes said businesses will be able to find their taxing district’s current occupational license tax forms on the Secretary of State’s One Stop Business Portal. The Secretary of State’s Office is asking that all local taxing districts in Kentucky send in their current forms by Nov. 1, 2012, along with instructions, to be posted on the web portal at onestop.ky.gov.
“We are getting tremendous feedback,” Grimes said. “We are getting these forms into our office on a timely basis.” She said she hopes to have received 100 percent of the forms from all taxing districts by January.
Creation of a standard form is now being worked out by the Secretary of State and several entities including the Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky Association of Counties, small business associations and Kentucky Society of CPAS, Grimes said.
Grimes said Kentucky has over 200 taxing jurisdictions, and that HB 277 will reduce the time businesses have to spend communicating with state government.
Riggs, who chaired Wednesday’s meeting, said the need to address the occupational license tax form issue was raised by a fellow lawmaker who pushed to get the issue addressed for more than a year. “That is how ideas are born: Just from practical living experience,” Riggs said.
The One Stop Business Portal was created with the passage of 2011 Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, and Sen. John Schickel, R-Union. Today, Grimes said, Kentucky has over 10,000 businesses that have registered to operate in the Commonwealth using the web portal. She said her office is now working to streamline the portal to benefit all citizens and not just businesses.
“We appreciate you giving us the ability to do what there is in the statute. We are working our hardest to stretch every dollar you provided for us,” Grimes said.