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County to drop suit against treasurer

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – Bullitt Fiscal Court has opted to drop its litigation against its county treasurer in a case involving occupational taxes due the city of Shepherdsville.

The county, city and treasurer Kenann Sharp were involved in a series of lawsuits and cross complaints over occupational tax dollars which were not withheld from county employees over the past five years.

Previously, the city and county agreed to settle their litigation. The county agreed to pay $56,001, an amount supplied by Sharp’s attorney.

However, the litigation against the treasurer by the county to recoup its lost money was still in play as of last Monday.

Following a 50-minute executive session, Bullitt Fiscal Court voted unanimously to drop its litigation against Sharp.

Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts said she reluctantly voted to drop the suit to protect the employees.

As long as the county was seeking reimbursement from Sharp for the settlement figure, Roberts said there was a threat that the employees would be made parties in the lawsuit.

The employees would have sued in order to recover money they should have been paying to the city.

Roberts said she couldn’t believe this has happened but she must protect the employees.

County attorney Monica Robinson said that while employees had not been served, they would have been made party to the litigation.

She added city attorney Joseph Wantland is drafting a motion to dismiss its claim against the county.

The issue surfaced over a year ago when Robinson announced that the county might owe over $100,000 in occupational taxes which had not been withheld and paid to Shepherdsville.

Eventually, the city sued the county for the unpaid taxes. The county then made the county treasurer a part of the litigation.

After a recent hearing, the county’s insurance attorney stated that the government should not be part of the occupational tax requirements. The attorney for the treasurer said his client was only administering what she had been told and that she did not many any decisions on how would pay and if they should pay the full 1.5 percent or a portion of that.

Wantland argued that government employees are subject to the tax.

Following that hearing, more settlement discussions were held and an agreement was reached in February.

However, that wasn’t the last of the discussion.

At its March 5 meeting, Roberts told those at the fiscal court meeting that it was the treasurer’s fault that the county had to pay the back taxes. Her comments were quickly shut down due to the existing litigation which still remained between the parties.

County employees are currently paying the appropriate occupational taxes to the city.