April 25, 2024
Property

Sen. Boswell sponsoring bills related to property taxes, hunter education, more


Sen. Gary Boswell (R-Owensboro) gives a “thumbs up” to register his vote for Senate Bill 115 in 2023. | Photo by Kentucky LRC

State Sen. Gary Boswell introduced 5 bills during the first week of the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2024 legislative session. Two of the bills are related to property taxes, while the other three deal with fishing on private property, the overpopulation of hawks, and the orange card requirement for Kentucky hunters.

Here are the highlights of what to know about the bills:

Senate Bill 55 — An act relating to fishing in privately owned lakes and ponds

To track the bill: Click here

Summary of original bill proposal: Amend KRS 150.170 to allow a bona fide resident landowner and other authorized persons to take fish from any lake or pond located on the owner’s property without procuring a sport fishing license.

Boswell says: The state would no longer require a fishing license on private property. The state wouldn’t regulate creel limits on private property but could regulate invasive species. Non-owners are treated as resident landowners if they have written or electronic permission to fish.

Senate Bill 58 – An act relating to property tax rates (tax recall petition)

To track the bill: Click here

Summary of original bill proposal: Amend KRS 132.017 to allow any registered voter who resides in the district to file a petition; remove the requirement that a petition committee be formed and an affidavit to be filed with the county clerk; remove the requirement that the county clerk publish a notice about the tax rate challenge in the newspaper; allow each sheet of the petition to contain the names of voters from more than one voting precinct; remove the requirement that the petition signees put their Social Security number or the name and number of their designated voting precinct on the petition; amend KRS 132.018 to conform.

Boswell says: Under current law House Bill 44, voters may conduct a recall petition when property taxes are increased by more than 4%. The current law for the recall process is difficult, if not impossible to do. For example, it requires a Social Security number on the petition. This bill simplifies the whole process.

Senate Bill 59 – An relating to protected species (hawk bill)

To track the bill: Click here

Summary of original bill proposal: Amend KRS 150.330 to prohibit the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife from enforcing or imposing fines and penalties for the taking of Cooper’s hawks or red-tailed hawks; amend KRS 150.990 to exempt Cooper’s hawks and red-tailed hawks from fines and penalties.

Boswell says: Overpopulation of hawks has been a problem for years and is getting worse. Hawks have no natural predators. They were taken off the protected list during the Trump administration, but after he left office President Biden put them back on protected status. Hawks are killing our songbirds, doves (population down over 40% per KDFW), quail, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, farm chickens, and even small pets. I am not advocating a hunting season on hawks but I do want to allow people to be able to protect their animals and wildlife. 

Senate Bill 60 – An act relating to hunter education

To track the bill: Click here

Summary of original bill proposal: Amend KRS 150.170 to prohibit the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife from imposing a hunter education requirement for a person to obtain a hunting or fishing license or permit.

Boswell says: I support voluntary hunter education but not as a condition to hunt. The law passed in 1991 requires anyone born after 1975 to have an orange card to hunt. In 2024, those who were born in 1975 are now 49 years old. The orange card requirement is preventing thousands of young people from being able to hunt. The state offers a 1-year waiver for a fee. If you offer a 1-year waiver, is it about safety or the money?

Senate Bill 69 – An act relating to the levy of an ad valorem tax rate

To track the bill: Click here

Summary of original bill proposal: Repeal and reenact KRS 132.017 to require the portion of a property tax rate which will produce revenue from real property, exclusive of revenue from new property, more than 4 percent over the amount of revenue produced by the compensating tax rate to be subject to recall by the voters of the district; establish requirements for the ballot question, notifying the public, the election process, and recalling the rate; allow the cancellation of the election; disallow local, state, and federal tax dollars to be used to advocate for the rate; amend various statutes to conform; effective January 1, 2025.

Boswell says: When a property taxing authority raises taxes more than 4% it must be placed on the ballot for voters to approve or disapprove.





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