SB 106 aims to simplify process to dissolve a defunct city and cut local taxes

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Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

VICCO, Ky. (WYMT) - A city becomes defunct when it collects taxes from people who live there, but does not have the elected officers to spend the revenue.

Kentucky League of Cities Director of Public Affairs, Bryanna Carroll, told the Lexington Herald Leader that a functionally defunct city can only be dissolved when a resident sues the city - an approach that is costly and impractical for many small city residents.

If passed, Senate Bill 106 would, one time only, provide an administrative process allowing cities a convenient way to dissolve if certain conditions are met.

Perry County Judge-Executive, Scott Alexander, has long family ties to Vicco, a defunct city along Carr Creek with a population of 293 as of 2020.

”The residents of Vicco, they’re still being charged a tax on their insurance,” he said. “But, that money is just sitting in a pot and can’t be spent by anyone, and therefore we’re looking at dissolving Vicco to help those residents so they will no longer have to pay those taxes”

He does not expect dissolving the City to have an impact on local government services, but said the County is there to support as necessary.

“We’re going to look to pick-up, to do what we can, to continue that heartbeat in Vicco.” he said.

The cities potentially impacted by SB 106 are located across the Commonwealth, but Blackey in Letcher County is another in Eastern Kentucky.

”Not only is Vicco being looked at, but several other small towns across Kentucky are being looked at to have this one time issue to make dissolving simple,” said Alexander.

Longtime resident and former Vicco Mayor, John Cummings, said he has a lot of love for this city.

”This is where I came from and all the people that [were] born and raised here, we have a real big sense of community,” Cummings said. “Just like everyone else in Perry County.”

Cummings said dissolving the city would hurt a little but, ultimately he thinks it is necessary for the general wellbeing of the people living there.

Reflecting on what it would feel like to lose the city status, Alexander added that he will never forget the towns legendary past, and the contribution its people have had on the nation.

”A lot of coal has been mined out of here,” said Alexander. “A lot of things to help prosper America have come right out of Vicco. So, you know, It’s sad that we see that, but times change. Things sometimes change.”

SB 106 passed the Senate February 9, and is awaiting action in the House.

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