LEXINGTON, Ky. — House Bill 8, which requires sales tax to be collected, passed in 2022 and went into effect at the start of the year. It has received mixed reactions from business owners.
Stephanie Wade, a Lexington-based photographer, runs her own photography business and is among those affected by the new law. She does senior portraits, creative photography and wedding photos.
“My heart right now is with weddings and I do love doing my weddings,” said Wade, “and I have the best clients.”
In 2019, she worked at a bank and had her first daughter. Because of having busy schedules, Wade and her husband decided it was best for their family for her to stay home. It was then that she took up photography as a hobby.
“What I ended up doing is picking up my first camera,” said Wade, “and I was like ‘I’m going to try this out’… and I instantly fell in love with it. I used my family a lot and my friends a lot for test dummies. So I took a lot of photos of them and slowly began to learn.”
And that she did. Wade took online courses and had a lot of encouragement from her family to pursue photography. It didn’t take long for her to have paying customers. Her business took off in 2021 when weddings resumed following the pandemic.
“I love working with people and I can really get them out of their shells to have a good time and it’s all about the experience,” said Wade.
The new law requiring a sales tax on over 30 services might affect Wade and other photographers across Kentucky. Wade thinks it’s too early to see any changes because of the bill, but has some concerns about the near future.
“What I’m mostly worried about is the fact that weddings that I possibly could have had if not for that sales tax is going to go to somebody who’s cheaper,” said Wade.
However, there are other business owners that do not share in those concerns. Wade’s friend, David Angel, who is a videographer and photographer, has a different perspective on this issue.
“I feel like it makes us have to up our price, which then in turn shows you that the value is there,” said Angel.
Despite the higher price tag, Wade wants to ensure her clients that as far as her services go, all will stay the same and customers will still love their photos.
“I’m still the same photographer. You still have a great time with me, you still have a great experience,” said Wade.
You can go to the Revenue Cabinet's website to learn more about the sales tax.