State auditor: $2.7B in taxes, fees gets little oversight or accountability

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The state auditor says Kentucky has more than 1,200 special districts that spend $2.7 billion a year while operating with little oversight or accountability.

Auditor Adam Edelen says the state had never before been able to determine how many of the special districts exist and whether they are compliant with state law. The auditor's office spent six months compiling a database of the districts, which range from libraries to sanitation districts that have the ability to fee and tax.

Edelen released the database and a report on the districts Wednesday. It found that Kentucky's special districts collect $1.5 billion in taxes and fees along with $1 billion in grants, corporate sponsorships and fundraising. Edelen says it's "scandalous" that there is no wide-ranging oversight of the districts.

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