Kentucky Constitution
Section 171

State tax to be levied -- Taxes to be levied and collected for public purposes only and by general laws, and to be uniform within classes -- Classification of property for taxation -- Bonds exempt -- Referendum on act classifying property.


The General Assembly shall provide by law an annual tax, which, with other resources, shall be sufficient to defray the estimated expenses of the Commonwealth for each fiscal year. Taxes shall be levied and collected for public purposes only and shall be uniform upon all property of the same class subject to taxation within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax; and all taxes shall be levied and collected by general laws.

The General Assembly shall have power to divide property into classes and to determine what class or classes of property shall be subject to local taxation. Bonds of the state and of counties, municipalities, taxing and school districts shall not be subject to taxation.

Any law passed or enacted by the General Assembly pursuant to the provisions of or under this amendment, or amended section of the Constitution, classifying property and providing a lower rate of taxation on personal property, tangible or intangible, than upon real estate shall be subject to the referendum power of the people, which is hereby declared to exist to apply only to this section, or amended section. The referendum may be demanded by the people against one or more items, sections, or parts of any act enacted pursuant to or under the power granted by this amendment, or amended section. The referendum petition shall be filed with the Secretary of State not more than four months after the final adjournment of the Legislative Assembly which passed the bill on which the referendum is demanded. The veto power of the Governor shall not extend to measures referred to the people under this section. All elections on measures referred to the people under this act shall be at the regular general election, except when the Legislative Assembly shall order a special election. Any measure referred to the people shall take effect and become a law when approved by the majority of the votes cast thereon, and not otherwise. The whole number of votes cast for the candidates for Governor at the regular election, last preceding the filing of any petition, shall be the basis upon which the legal voters necessary to sign such petition shall be counted. The power of the referendum shall be ordered by the Legislative Assembly at any time any acts or bills are enacted, pursuant to the power granted under this section or amended section, prior to the year of one thousand nine hundred and seventeen. After that time the power of the referendum may be ordered either by the petition signed by five percent of the legal voters or by the Legislative Assembly at the time said acts or bills are enacted. The General Assembly enacting the bill shall provide a way by which the act shall be submitted to the people. The filing of a referendum petition against one or more items, sections or parts of an act, shall not delay the remainder of that act from becoming operative.

Text as Ratified on: November 2, 1915.
History: 1915 amendment was proposed by 1914 Ky. Acts ch. 94, sec. 1; original version ratified August 3, 1891, and revised September 28, 1891.

previous section | next section


List of Constitution Sections | Constitution by Topic | Legislature Home Page