Higdon said he spoke to the Casey County News and Lebanon Enterprise before he voted.
Cities and counties are required, by law, to publish certain items in the newspaper. These appear in the legal ad section of the newspaper.
Now, the law says counties have to publish the names of delinquent taxpayers three times in the newspaper. The bill changes that requirement to allow a half-page ad announcing that if delinquent taxpayers don't pay up their names will be published in the newspaper. The next week a list of names will be published in the paper and counties can opt to then put the names on the Internet.
Requirement optional for cities
The requirement to publish names is still optional for cities.
The Legislative Research Commission estimates the savings to local government will be 66 percent. KPA Executive Director David Thompson said it will be hard to know what the cost saving are until the law has been in effect for an entire year.
The bill also increases the amount that local governments can charge those taxpayers for advertising from $3 to $5.
Boyle County Sheriff's Department would be able to collect about $4,800 more a year.
Sheriff LeeRoy Hardin said he probably will increase the fee and publish the names on the Internet.
"To some people (seeing their names in the paper) is pretty effective; most people don't care," Hardin said.
In 2005 the sheriff published 211 inches of names in The Advocate-Messenger. Between the first publication and the second, the ad was reduced 15 percent and by the third it had reduced another 5 percent. The reason the list got shorter is because names are taken off once people pay their delinquent taxes.
Change affects system disbursements
Hardin said he pays $6,200 for three days of publication.
Jim Cox, publisher of the Central Record in Garrard County, thinks the publication of deliquent taxes in his newspaper is effective.
"I'm for the government saving money, but at the same time I don't know if they would be saving that money because publishing the tax list is effective. ... I think people are less likely to go to the Internet for that information, but if they see it in the local paper they'll take heed of it."
The law also allows cities and counties to omit listings of amounts paid of less than $1,000 to a single payee. Thompson said this mostly affects school systems that frequently write a lot of smaller checks to a single person, like a $25 reimbursment for a school trip. This change will reduce the size of the report by 33 to 40 percent.
Cox said he isn't sure the public gets much from the audit reports that are published, but he believes the reports are a public record and should be published.
One thing he knows won't fly is the change from 9-point type to 7. Cox said the newspaper is printed in 10-point type and if it goes any lower, he gets calls from people who say it is hard to read.
The KPA, which represents newspapers, says the change will save local governments 22 percent.
The bill's requirement to offer governments the lowest non-contract classified rate may save the government another 5 to 10 percent, according to the LRC.
Legislators have said the changes will save Kentuckians $2 million a year, which is 50 cents per Kentuckian per year, according to Thompson.