2017 Tax Reform Advocacy Plan & Toolkit

Please hear us clearly and make no mistake: With the mantra in Frankfort being “everything is on the table,” the upcoming special legislative session on tax reform can have serious implications for your business and for Kentucky’s tourism industry.

Throughout the summer, in order to avoid negative tax reform outcomes, KTIA is engaging in concerted efforts to educate legislators along with local officials and business and community leaders about the importance of tourism and the tourism industry to Kentucky. In the longer term these efforts will result in greater influence for our industry.

Essential to the success of this effort is very active and concerted engagement by KTIA members. To repeat: The upcoming special legislative session on tax reform can have serious implications for your business and for Kentucky’s tourism industry. The plans and toolkit information provided below arm you with information and resources to use in this initiative. Your KTIA management team is prepared to assist and participate with you in whatever ways we possibly can. Also, KTIA has engaged the services of RunSwitch, a leading policy public relations firm to assist us in this effort. MML&K, our longstanding lobbying firm is also heavily involved.

We will be updating and adding to the toolkit as more plans and resources are developed.

We know everyone is extremely busy during the summer months. Nonetheless, this is serious stuff and requires your active attention. Please let us know how we can help.

Local Meetings with Legislators

No other strategy can match the results that individuals meeting with legislators can deliver. It is a must for KTIA members to meet with legislators in-district and hopefully on-site at a travel industry location. Although the best approach is for constituents to reach out to legislators with the invitation, if KTIA can assist with scheduling, please let us know.

A link to a detailed legislator meeting "how-to" document is available below in the toolkit. Do not be concerned by the document's length as we opted to provide ample detail for your use. The toolkit also includes a leave behind document for legislators.

Leveraging Free Media

There are several opportunities for doing this:
  • Speaking Opportunities - Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Women’s clubs and most importantly Chambers of Commerce represent excellent opportunities to tell tourism’s local and statewide stories and to reach legislators, local officials and business leaders with our message.  Local CVBs should take the lead on contacting these organizations and attempt to schedule speaking opportunities. KTIA’s President & CEO is available to make these presentations as his schedule permits.  Local tourism directors and other key local tourism leaders should also make themselves available.  KTIA is developing a presentation for these sorts of engagements and a collateral piece to hand out to attendees
  • Op-Eds & Letters to Editors (LTE) – KTIA has developed a general op-ed for members to submit to local newspapers. The op-ed can be pared down to be used as an LTE. We are also utilizing the recent passage of the “School Calendar Bill” to our advantage and have provided an LTE thanking those legislators who voted for the bill.  
  • “Stunts” – Consider actions that can be taken that will draw local attention to the importance of tourism.  For example, can a local attraction offer admission for $14.50 that week to highlight the $14.5 billion tourism economic impact?  Or maybe attractions or other tourism service providers offer a 14.5% discount. Publicity surrounding these actions and resulting stories will garner attention.  As the summer wraps up and school begins, there is another round of media opportunities to stress the financial importance of the industry. The media will naturally be more inclined to engage on the subject as they view the conclusion of “summer travel season” concluding.

Social Media Campaign

Over the next several months, KTIA is carrying out a robust social media plan aimed to continually press our tourism message in the public domain. This effort is being pushed through our KTIA Twitter (@KyKTIA) and Facebook (@kytravelindustryassoc) accounts. Members who have not done so should begin following KTIA on both platforms and re-tweet and share KTIA messages. Additionally, we encourage all members to integrate local information and use similar messaging on their respective accounts to further drive home these points.

Toolkit Collateral and Supporting Material

Tax Reform Legislator Meetings - Organizer's Guidance & Resources

Legislator Meeting Leave Behind

Download this two-sided document that summarizes the economic importance of tourism and provides information about tourism funding.  This is designed for use as a leave-behind for legislators.

Tourism Info Graph

Tourism info graph for use in developing signage, posters and other material to convey the importance of Kentucky tourism.

Tourism Op Ed

Kentucky Wouldn't be Where it is Without Tourism

Tax Reform Letters to the Editor

Sample Thank You Letters to the Editor Regarding the School Calendar Bill, SB 50

List of Legislators Who Voted "Yes" on SB 50

Mock Taxpayer Check

Sample Letter to Legislators from Local Business

One of the most effective ways to convey our message to legislators is for them to hear from businesses in their districts that benefit from tourism, and that point to their CVB as an important partner in their business success. CVBs should distribute this sample letter to relevant businesses and organizations and request that it be sent by them to their legislators.