Text Size: Print this page

Use our A-Z index below to quickly find what you need.



911 -

911 call centers are the first response to emergency situations and are funded primarily through taxes and grants.


Abstentions -

City legislative body members may choose not to vote on various issues.

Affordable Housing -

Affordable housing programs assist low-income households with rent and home purchasing.

Annexation -

Annexation allows cities to expand their boundaries to increase urban development. Specific statutes outline the requirements and procedures for annexation.

Audits -

Audits generate timely information about the city's financial position and accountability for managing public resources.


Benefits -

Benefits often include retirement (i.e. pensions), health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and vacation, sick, and personal days as well as holidays.

Bonds -

Issuing bonds allows cities the flexibility needed to complete long-term capital projects and implement short-term financial solutions.

Budget -

The city's annual budget shows the city's revenues, expenditures, program goals and details pertinent to the financial operations for the coming year.

Budgetary Process -

Budgeting is the process of preparing and formalizing the municipal budget according to accounting standards and guidelines.


Classification -

Kentucky cities are divided into one of two classes. However, cities and their counties have certain rights and responsibilities depending on their former classification and/or city population.

Code Enforcement -

Code enforcement addresses unseemly or dangerous property conditions in order to enhance the living standards in a community.

Collective Bargaining -

Collective bargaining entails city leaders and union representatives negotiating an agreement on working conditions.
Benefits, Compensation, Home Rule

Community Services -

Community services include parks and recreation, health initiatives, public transportation and other services.

Compensation -

The wages and salaries paid to elected and appointed city officials and city staff take up a large portion of city budgets.

Conflicts of Interest -

Conflicts of interest occur when a city official or an employee becomes directly or indirectly interested in any contract with the city.

Cost of Living Adjustments -

COLA is used in determining the maximum amount an elected city official can be paid, and is based on consumer price index changes as determined by the Department for Local Government. COLAs may also often given to city employees each year.


Debt -

Cities often have to borrow to complete long-term projects. They have a number of attractive financing options available to them as municipalities.

Drug Abuse -

Prescription drug abuse has increased statewide, partly due to 'pill mills' which prescribe medications without medical justification. Kentucky has made resources available to help end abuse and allow you to report suspected pill mills anonymously.


Elections -

The Kentucky Constitution requires all elected city officers to be elected at general elections in even numbered years.

Expenditures -

Kentucky cities spend billions of dollars on public purpose goods and services each year.


Form of Government -

Kentucky cities have one of three forms of government (with two exceptions), and choose their form according to their specific needs.


General Government -

General government expenditures include administrative, legal, and financial administration costs.


Home Rule -

Cities have the power to make independent decisions, as long as they do not conflict with state or federal law.


Incompatible Offices -

Under the Kentucky Constitution and Revised Statutes, no person may simultaneously hold multiple governmental offices.

Insurance Premium Tax -

Cities may levy a tax on insurance premiums. This revenue has grown to be the third largest tax source for Kentucky cities.
Budget, Budgetary Process, Revenues, Taxes

Interlocal Agreements -

Interlocal agreements allow multiple governmental units to merge operations to better serve their citizens.


Local Option Sales Tax -

A local option sales tax (LOST) is often used as a means of raising funds for specific local or area projects.
Home Rule, Revenues, Taxes


Motel Tax -

Also known as a transient room tax, this tourism-based tax may be levied on the rent of rooms in hotels, motels and similar lodging.


Occupational License Tax -

All business-related activities can be taxed within a city for the purpose of general revenues. These can take the form of payroll taxes, net profit taxes and gross receipts taxes. Annual flat business licenses are also often issued by cities.
Budget, Budgetary Process, Revenues, Taxes

Open Meetings -

The Open Meetings Act requires that all meetings where a quorum of the public agency is present and where any city business is discussed must be open to the public, except in certain situations.

Open Records -

The Open Records Act requires cities to make certain public documents available for review.

Orders -

City legislative and executive bodies establish internal policy through municipal orders.

Ordinances -

Cities can pass legally binding legislation through their council or commission via ordinances.


Parliamentary Procedure -

City meetings follow procedural guidelines to organize, formalize and guide debate and decision making.

Planning and Zoning -

The planning and zoning process allows cities to control developmental aspects of the city.

Population -

The state has grown and evolved considerably over the past two centuries. Census population counts and estimates can affect everything from federal funding to legislative redistricting to the classification of a city.

Procurement -

When making large purchases, cities must comply with the Model Procurement Code or the general bidding statute.
Budget, Expenditures

Property Tax -

Cities can levy taxes on real and tangible property (also called ad valorem taxes) for the purpose of general revenues.

Public Safety -

Safety-oriented expenditures for police, fire, ambulance, and dispatch services combine to form the leading general function expenditure category for cities.

Public Services -

Many cities offer services such as waste and recycling collection, streets and roads, parking facilities, cemeteries and natural resource management.


Quorum -

City legislative bodies can only take action if a majority of its members are present.


Resolutions -

City legislative bodies officially provide opinions through resolutions.

Restaurant Tax -

Cities of the previous fourth and fifth class may levy a tax on restaurant sales to fund local tourism commissions.
Classification, Revenues, Taxes

Retirement/Pension -

Retirement offerings typically fall into one of two types of plans: defined benefit (usually referred to as pensions) and defined contribution. Most city retirement plans are defined benefit and are facilitated by the County Employees Retirement System (CERS), which covers hazardous and nonhazardous duty employees.

Revenues -

Cities generate funds from a number of sources in order to provide public goods and services.


Service Charges -

Revenues generated from services such as water and sewer, waste collection and parking fees cannot exceed the cost of providing the service beyond a reasonable amount.

Services -

Cities provide a number of services to improve the quality of life of their residents.

Streets and Roads -

One of the primary public services provided by cities is construction and maintenance of streets and roads.
Public Services


Tax Increment Financing -

Cities may use a financing tool known as TIF to help develop or redevelop an area and use the increased tax dollars to pay for the long-term financing.


Uniform Financial Information Reports (UFIRs) -

Cities annually report revenues, expenditures and other financial information via the UFIR.

Utilities -

Over half of Kentucky cities provide at least one utility to their citizens. Utilities are the largest expenditure category statewide.


Vacancies in Office -

When an office is no longer held by someone qualified, it is considered vacant. Vacant offices can be filled through appointment or a special election.
If you would like to suggest an addition to the topic list or suggest a correction, please contact Joseph Coleman.