To the Editor:
The Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Mission Statement in the News Journal Wednesday is described: “To create an environment in which area businesses are provided every opportunity to grow and prosper while preserving the quality of life we treasure in our community.” If true, why hasn’t the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce stood up for Corbin since the early 2000’s while $1 million each year has been paid by Corbin, Knox County businesses and workers to the Knox County Fiscal Court to share with the City of Barbourville, with Corbin getting zero?
This unfair action does not preserve the quality of life for people in Corbin when their tax dollars go to the county and another city and none helps the citizens of Corbin. Corbin must use tax dollars collected in Corbin, Whitley County to help their citizens in Corbin, Knox County which takes money from Corbin that could be used for Whitley County citizens. If the mission statement is true, why didn’t the Chamber speak up when three times Senator Stivers tagged amendments to late hour bills to block Corbin’s lawsuit to gain a share of the money from within its city limits? Was the Chamber interested in the quality of life in Corbin?
Corbin is the only city in Kentucky whose businesses and workers’ pay local taxes shared by another city and county with Corbin getting zero. We wish Corbin received fair and just treatment in sharing occupational taxes with Knox County and if so it would not be necessary for an add on tax of 1 percent. Corbin, Williamsburg, and Whitley County have an agreement on sharing of occupational taxes but Corbin has been ignored in Knox County.
The Chamber shouldn’t criticize Corbin about its budget planning. Corbin’s officials were voted into office by the citizens of Corbin and are not responsible for bailing out Knox County and Barbourville. The leaders of Laurel, Whitley, and Knox Counties, London, Barbourville, Corbin and Williamsburg must have teamwork to maintain the quality of life for all our people.
Bruce Carpenter heads Corbin’s Economic Development Office and is Executive Director of this Chamber that he leads and that criticizes the city he represents. This smells like a conflict of interest and total lack of loyalty. Why doesn’t he stand up for Corbin in getting a fair share of Corbin Knox County occupational taxes collected within Corbin’s city limits?
After World War II the city of Corbin provided utility service and helped adjoining areas in Laurel and Knox Counties create jobs and expand their populations. The reasonable resolution of this problem is for Knox County to make the same agreement with Barbourville and Corbin like the one in Whitley County for Corbin and Williamsburg. Senator Stivers needs to keep his nose out of this local issue and quit putting amendments on last hour bills to kill Corbin. Stivers’ attitude hurts the quality of life for our area people. It takes a worthy purpose, good planning, and teamwork to keep hope alive!
Donnie Witt, Herman Moore, Rev. Robert Lockhart,
Simon Vanderpool, Dave Moore, and Bob Terrell