Kuttawa City Council on Monday introduced two ordinances to increase taxes for tourism and fire protection, and offered two more to increase the pay for elected officials.
After discussion of a pay increase for the position of mayor at the January meeting, council members seem to favor giving Mayor Barbara Campbell a 2.3% cost of living adjustment, the most allowed by Kentucky Department for Local Government rules.
If approved at next month's meeting, Campbell's monthly compensation would edge up $11.58 from the current $500.
Last month, discussion centered on a significant bump in pay, but statutes would not allow for such an increase until a new mayoral term begins in December 2022. The council will have until May 2022 to decide that.
The council, meantime, rejected a proposal to double its own monthly compensation to $200. Across 12 months for six council members, that would amount to an additional $7,200 annually.
"That money would be better spent doing something for all of the community," said Councilwoman Sandra Stark. "Me personally, I feel like we're very well compensated."
The proposed ordinance died for a lack of support.
While the four council members present Monday were split on a proposal to increase the city's food and beverage tax on Kuttawa restaurants and clubs, the measure will be considered for approval in March.
The proposal would move the current 2% tax to 3% in order to increase funding for tourism-related projects.
According to Mary Sewell, Kuttawa Tourism Commission director, the tax generated $136,601 in the fiscal year ending June 2019. Based on that figure, a 3% tax would have generated an additional $68,174.
Councilmen Kenneth Ames and Sean Cotham opposed the measure. Ames called the proposal anti-business, believing it would deter local residents and tourists from spending at Kuttawa eateries. Stark and Skyla Grief supported the bump. Council members Tom Simpson and Kimberly Clapp were not present Monday.
The council also moved forward on a suggested increase to the city's fire insurance premium tax that would up the levy from 10% to 13% and the penalty for non-reporting and non-payment the same amount. It will still require approval at the March meeting.
The money, City Clerk Savannah McLeod said, is needed by Kuttawa Fire Department for updated equipment and a new firehouse.
Ames agreed the need is there, but is hesitant to put it all on Kuttawa residents.
"I'm all for giving them more money, but I hate to throw it on our citizens again," he said.