The House Committee on Local Government has approved legislation that would strengthen oversight of more than 1,200 local taxing districts.
The panel passed the measure on Wednesday, advancing it to the full House for consideration.
The measure sets up a system for auditing the taxing districts, which spend some $2.7 billion a year to operate rural fire departments, airports, sanitation districts, even libraries. It also would create an online database where taxpayers could review financial reports for each taxing district while also making their leaders subject to ethics rules.
State Auditor Adam Edelen has been pushing the legislation. His office released a report last year showing Kentucky has 1,268 taxing districts that collect $1.5 billion in taxes and fees each year, plus $1 billion in government grants and private donations.