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This Week In Conversation: Will Louisville Choose Budget Cuts Or Higher Taxes?

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city Hall

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This Week In Conversation: Will Louisville Choose Budget Cuts Or Higher Taxes?

Citing soaring state pension obligations over the next four years, budget restrictions and few choices, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says Metro government faces a serious fiscal shortfall and services and city employees could be casualties. Fischer is asking the Metro Council to increase the insurance premium tax or find a better solution.

Fischer’s proposal would increase the insurance premium tax on providers from 5 percent to 15 percent over the next four fiscal years to offset a potential $65 million budget deficit.

“As mayor, I can tell you, I’m in the reality business,” Fischer said at the news conference announcing his plan. “And the reality is this is the best, least painful option open to us from an extremely short list of choices.”

Under Fischer’s plan, the insurance premium tax hike would not affect auto insurance rates. Instead, it would apply to home, life, marine and other insurances.

If the tax increase doesn’t pass, Fischer’s office forecasts disastrous consequences. His office has said the cuts could eliminate Metro government funding for the Belle of Louisville, shut down some library locations, layoff 317 employees and more.

This week on In Conversation, we talk about this year’s budget and what the pension obligation and Fischer’s ultimatum will mean for the city.

Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.

This story has been updated.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.