Municipalities, Kentucky Constitution

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The Municipalities article of the Kentucky Constitution has 17 sections

Section 156

Text of Section 156:

Repealed by Kentucky Balanced Budget Requirement, Amendment 1 (1994) on November 8, 1994.[1]

Section 156a

Text of Section 156a:

The General Assembly may provide for the creation, alteration of boundaries, consolidation, merger, dissolution, government, functions, and officers of cities. The General Assembly shall create such classifications of cities as it deems necessary based on population, tax base, form of government, geography, or any other reasonable basis and enact legislation relating to the classifications. All legislation relating to cities of a certain classification shall apply equally to all cities within the same classification. The classification of all cities and the law pertaining to the classifications in effect at the time of adoption of this section shall remain in effect until otherwise provided by law.[1]


Section 156b

Text of Section 156b:

The General Assembly may provide by general law that cities may exercise any power and perform any function within their boundaries that is in furtherance of a public purpose of a city and not in conflict with a constitutional provision or statute.[1]


Section 157

Text of Section 157:

The tax rate of cities, counties, and taxing districts, for other than school purposes, shall not, at any time, exceed the following rates upon the value of the taxable property therein: For all cities having a population of fifteen thousand or more, one dollar and fifty cents on the hundred dollars; for all cities having less than fifteen thousand and not less than ten thousand, one dollar on the hundred dollars; for all cities having less than ten thousand, seventy-five cents on the hundred dollars; and for counties and taxing districts, fifty cents on the hundred dollars.[1]


Section 157a

Text of Section 157a:

The credit of the Commonwealth may be given, pledged or loaned to any county of the Commonwealth for public road purposes, and any county may be permitted to incur an indebtedness in any amount fixed by the county, not in excess of five per centum of the value of the taxable property therein, for public road purposes in said county, provided said additional indebtedness is submitted to the voters of the county for their ratification or rejection at a special election held for said purpose, in such manner as may be provided by law and when any such indebtedness is incurred by any county said county may levy, in addition to the tax rate allowed under Section 157 of the Constitution of Kentucky, an amount not exceeding twenty cents on the one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of said county for the purpose of paying the interest on said indebtedness and providing a sinking fund for the payment of said indebtedness.[1]


  • Approval of Amendment in 1909.

Section 157b

Text of Section 157b:

Prior to each fiscal year, the legislative body of each city, county, and taxing district shall adopt a budget showing total expected revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year. No city, county, or taxing district shall expend any funds in any fiscal year in excess of the revenues for that fiscal year. A city, county, or taxing district may amend its budget for a fiscal year, but the revised expenditures may not exceed the revised revenues. As used in this section, "revenues" shall mean all income from every source, including unencumbered reserves carried over from the previous fiscal year, and "expenditures" shall mean all funds to be paid out for expenses of the city, county, or taxing district during the fiscal year, including amounts necessary to pay the principal and interest due during the fiscal year on any debt.[1]


Section 158

Text of Section 158:

Cities, towns, counties, and taxing districts shall not incur indebtedness to an amount exceeding the following maximum percentages on the value of the taxable property therein, to be estimated by the last assessment previous to the incurring of the indebtedness: Cities having a population of fifteen thousand or more, ten percent (10%); cities having a population of less than fifteen thousand but not less than three thousand, five percent (5%); cities having a population of less than three thousand, three percent (3%); and counties and taxing districts, two percent (2%), unless in case of emergency, the public health or safety should so require. Nothing shall prevent the issue of renewal bonds, or bonds to fund the floating indebtedness of any city, county, or taxing district. Subject to the limits and conditions set forth in this section and elsewhere in this Constitution, the General Assembly shall have the power to establish additional limits on indebtedness and conditions under which debt may be incurred by cities, counties, and taxing districts.[1]


Section 159

Text of Section 159:

Whenever any city, town, county, taxing district or other municipality is authorized to contract an indebtedness, it shall be required, at the same time, to provide for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on said indebtedness, and to create a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof, within not more than forty years from the time of contracting the same.[1]

Section 160

Text of Section 160:

The Mayor or Chief Executive, Police Judges, members of legislative boards or councils of towns and cities shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof: Provided, The Mayor or Chief Executive and Police Judges of the towns of the fourth, fifth and sixth classes may be appointed or elected as provided by law. The terms of office of Mayors or Chief Executives and Police Judges shall be four years, and until their successors shall be qualified, and of members of legislative boards, two years. When any city of the first or second class is divided into wards or districts, members of legislative boards shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of said city, but so selected that an equal proportion thereof shall reside in each of the said wards or districts; but when in any city of the first, second or third class, there are two legislative boards, the less numerous shall be selected from and elected by the voters at large of said city; but other officers of towns or cities shall be elected by the qualified voters therein, or appointed by the local authorities thereof, as the General Assembly may, by a general law, provide; but when elected by the voters of a town or city, their terms of office shall be four years, and until their successors shall be qualified. No Mayor or Chief Executive of any city of the first or second class, after the expiration of three successive terms of office to which he has been elected under this Constitution shall be eligible for the succeeding term. No fiscal officer of any city of the first or second class, after the expiration of the term of office to which he has been elected under this Constitution, shall be eligible for the succeeding term. "Fiscal officer" shall not include an Auditor or Assessor, or any other officer whose chief duty is not the collection or holding of public moneys. The General Assembly shall prescribe the qualifications of all officers of towns and cities, the manner in and causes for which they may be removed from office, and how vacancies in such offices may be filled.[1]


Section 161

Text of Section 161:

The compensation of any city, county, town or municipal officer shall not be changed after his election or appointment, or during his term of office; nor shall the term of any such officer be extended beyond the period for which he may have been elected or appointed.[1]

Section 162

Text of Section 162:

No county, city, town or other municipality shall ever be authorized or permitted to pay any claim created against it, under any agreement or contract made without express authority of law, and all such unauthorized agreements or contracts shall be null and void.[1]

Section 163

Text of Section 163:

No street railway, gas, water, steam heating, telephone, or electric light company, within a city or town, shall be permitted or authorized to construct its tracks, lay its pipes or mains, or erect its poles, posts or other apparatus along, over, under or across the streets, alleys or public grounds of a city or town, without the consent of the proper legislative bodies or boards of such city or town being first obtained; but when charters have been heretofore granted conferring such rights, and work has in good faith been begun thereunder, the provisions of this section shall not apply.[1]

Section 164

Text of Section 164:

No county, city, town, taxing district or other municipality shall be authorized or permitted to grant any franchise or privilege, or make any contract in reference thereto, for a term exceeding twenty years. Before granting such franchise or privilege for a term of years, such municipality shall first, after due advertisement, receive bids therefore publicly, and award the same to the highest and best bidder; but it shall have the right to reject any or all bids. This section shall not apply to a trunk railway.[1]

Section 165

Text of Section 165:

No person shall, at the same time, be a State officer or a deputy officer or member of the General Assembly, and an officer of any county, city, town, or other municipality, or an employee thereof; and no person shall, at the same time, fill two municipal offices, either in the same or different municipalities, except as may be otherwise provided in this Constitution; but a Notary Public, or an officer of the militia, shall not be ineligible to hold any other office mentioned in this section.[1]

Section 166

Text of Section 166:

All acts of incorporation of cities and towns heretofore granted, and all amendments thereto, except as provided in Section 167, shall continue in force under this Constitution, and all City and Police Courts established in any city or town shall remain, with their present powers and jurisdictions, until such time as the General Assembly shall provide by general laws for the government of towns and cities, and the officers and courts thereof; but not longer than four years from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, within which time the General Assembly shall provide by general laws for the government of towns and cities, and the officers and courts thereof, as provided in this Constitution.[1]

Section 167

Text of Section 167:

All officers required to be elected in cities, urban-counties, and towns by this Constitution, or by general laws enacted in conformity to its provisions, shall be elected at the general elections in November in even-numbered years.[1]


Section 168

Text of Section 168:

No municipal ordinance shall fix a penalty for a violation thereof at less than that imposed by statute for the same offense. A conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same offense.[1]

See also

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