Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 5, 2013

Lawmakers introduce ‘ghost government’ bill

By RONNIE ELLIS
CNHI

FRANKFORT — Back in November when state Auditor Adam Edelen released a report on special taxing districts, he characterized the system as “byzantine, a ghost government” and a “scandal.”

But Tuesday as Edelen stood with Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo and several co-sponsors of a bill that will require transparency and accountability, he and Stumbo went out of their way to say most special taxing districts “do it the right way.”

“These bad examples should not disparage those who do it the right way,” Edelen said. Stumbo said it is a “credit to the Kentuckians that serve on the various entities that there hasn’t been rampant and widespread abuse.”

There have several publicized reports of widespread abuse and questionable spending at some larger taxing districts such as the Lexington Airport and Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District.

Preventing that abuse is the purpose of House Bill 1, sponsored by Stumbo and resulting from Edelen’s review.

The bill will require taxing districts to file reports with a central registry housed in the Department of Local Government; require annual financial reporting and audits; and authorize Edelen’s office to audit any which don’t comply.

Edelen said the bill puts “teeth in the law to compel compliance.”

Read the full story in Wednesday's print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.