Secretary of State
House of Representatives Passes Bill Standardizing Occupational License Tax Filings
Last week, following testimony by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Chief Business Official, and former Speaker of the House Jody Richards, the House Standing Committee on Local Government passed unanimously House Bill 277, An Act relating to local occupational license tax forms. Today, the House of Representatives also passed the bill.
There are more than 200 taxing jurisdictions in Kentucky, each of which prescribes its own forms for businesses to complete in paying occupational license taxes. Businesses that operate in more than one taxing jurisdiction must obtain the correct forms for each jurisdiction and then complete and file multiple documents, which in some instances can cost more than the tax liability itself.
House Bill 277, which Richards sponsored, would require all taxing jurisdictions to file with the Secretary of State’s office a copy of their current occupational license tax forms, which the Secretary will make available through the online Business One Stop Portal. The Secretary will then, in consultation with affected groups, prescribe a standardized form that will be implemented for use statewide by July 2017. Three of the affected groups—the Kentucky Association of Counties, the Kentucky League of Cities, and the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants—enthusiastically and publicly supported the bill.
Richards said he has “spoken with business owners across Kentucky, and this bipartisan bill is a commonsense solution to a concern many of them share.” The Committee Chair and co-sponsor, Rep. Steve Riggs, lauded House Bill 277 as a “tremendous piece of legislation” and an example of businesses and government working together to solve a persistent problem. He noted the bill’s simplification of procedures will be especially beneficial to small businesses and said, “I don’t think there is a more pro-business bill being discussed this year.” Rep. Julie Raque Adams spoke on the House floor, stating she was proud to support House Bill 277, which is “good for businesses all across the Commonwealth.”
Secretary Grimes said, “Like Business One Stop, House Bill 277 facilitates interaction between businesses and governmental agencies in the Commonwealth. Kentuckians need and deserve efficient and effective government, and streamlining and centralizing the occupational license tax process is a sound way to achieve that while also making Kentucky more business-friendly. I am pleased that an overwhelming majority of Representatives voted in favor of the bill, and I encourage the Senate to join us in supporting this bipartisan effort to ensure that Kentucky truly is open for business.”
You can see services already available through the Business One Stop Portal at