By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Under House Bill 331, the City of Corbin will fall under the Home Rule Class.
They’ll have plenty of company, since all other Kentucky cities — with the exception of Louisville and Lexington, the state’s two largest — will also be designated under Home Rule Class.
Presently, Corbin — which has a City Manager-Commission form of government — is a second-class city.
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said the passing of the bill will be the first step in streamlining what cities statewide have to do in terms of power and authority. But at the same time, some things won’t be affected.
“We’ll still be a second-class city, but the stipulations are we’ll still have the same guidelines as a fourth-class city. We’ll still have the same direction as we had as a fourth-class city, but it will simplify things for a lot of Kentucky cities. A lot of cities that didn’t qualify will be able to do so, like drawing the restaurant tax,” McBurney said in an interview Tuesday.
Two of Corbin’s sources of revenue, the collecting of fees from the sale of alcoholic beverages and the enacting of a restaurant tax, will continue, according to the Mayor.
“The changes in the classification won’t affect us. The alcohol fees and restaurant tax remains the same, because when we moved up from fourth-clas to second-class, those second-class cities have the same guidelines. There were certain restrictions for some cities that made things complicated, and this new law will take care of that,” he stated.
The new law — passed in March by both the state Senate and House and signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear on April 10 — reduces the number of classifications for Kentucky cities from six to two.
That will also affect the cities of London, Williamsburg and Barbourville. which all have the Mayor-Council form of city government, and will fall under the Home Rule Class.