Saturday, June 18, 2016

Beware the bullet-proof argument

Achilles was bullet-proof, and look what happened to him. Other than with that proviso, bullet-proof legal arguments are fine with me. If the adversary finds a weak spot then at least I learn something new, but it's a good place to start from. Being bullet-proof.

Relating to cities of the Home Rule class, KRS 92.340 provides:
All taxes and license fees levied or imposed by cities of the home rule class shall be levied or imposed by ordinance. The purpose for which each tax is levied or license fee imposed shall be specified in the ordinance, and the revenue therefrom shall be expended for no other purpose than that for which the tax was levied or the license fee imposed. Failure to specify the purpose of the tax or license fee shall render the ordinance invalid.
KRS 82.082 states, "A city may exercise any power and perform any function within its boundaries . . .  that is in furtherance of a public purpose of the city and not in conflict with a constitutional provision or statute."

Generally, therefore, the purpose for which tax collections may be expended by a city must be a public purpose.

Really boring so far, but here's where it gets exciting. KRS 92.340.

"If . . .  any city tax revenue is expended for a purpose other than [a public purpose] . . .  each officer . . . who . . .  could have prevented the expenditure . . . shall be jointly and severally liable to the city for the amount so expended. The amount may be recovered of them in an action upon their bonds, or personally."

 So, with this in mind, you'd think that city officials would be extra careful about how they spend public funds. If they are smart.


Tom Fox, J. D.
Southern Specialty Law Publishing Company
Louisville, Kentucky

A division of Accountable Kentucky Incorporated
a Kentucky Non-profit corporation

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This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer.

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