Ex-Murray city councilman Greg Taylor has launched a Change.org petition aimed at stopping an occupational tax on workers employed within city limits.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition has gained more 650 signatures in just three days.
Murray Mayor Jack Rose says he wants to shift the tax burden away from property owners and wants any changes to the city’s tax code to be revenue neutral. This would include repealing the city's automobile stickers requirement, as well as lowering both property and insurance taxes if a payroll tax is instituted.
Taylor, who left the council in June when he moved outside city limits, says an occupational tax would be bad for business. He says he started the petition because he doesn’t think the city government will hold any town hall meetings on the issue before a vote.
“Where the citizens and the business owners were going to be able to just kind of ask questions and present their thoughts and opinions," Taylor said. "So, I decided there needed to be some type of voice for the workers.”
Taylor said he doubts changes to the city’s tax code would end up being revenue neutral.
“No one actually believes it’ll be revenue neutral for the long term," Taylor said. "The only reason that they’re going to all the time and effort and trouble to change it is because they believe it’ll bring in more money.”
Murray State University president Bob Davies has also voiced opposition to a payroll tax, saying it would hurt the university's ability to recruit and retain high caliber faculty and staff.
The possible payroll tax will be discussed by the city council further at a specially-called work meeting this Thursday. A vote could come at the council’s meeting next Tuesday, November 22.