Pretty much everyone agrees the state tax system is broken. Finding agreement on specific ways to reform it is the hard part.
Monday’s edition of Kentucky Tonight explored ideas for updating the tax system in the Commonwealth. The guests were Representatives Jim Wayne (D-Louisville) and Tim Moore (R-Elizabethtown), along with Western Kentucky University economics professor Brian Strow, and Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
Gov. Steve Beshear’s tax reform proposal focuses on lowering personal and business taxes, and expanding the 6 percent sales tax to certain services. His plan is based on recommendations made by a special commission he formed in 2012 to study options for tax reform. The group was charged with developing a new system for taxation that would be equitable, easy to understand and follow, generate sufficient income for government coffers, and make Kentucky competitive with other states. Brian Strow said that last goal is crucial for the economic health of the Commonwealth.
The representatives differed on how they view the prospects for passing tax reform in this session. Moore said he doesn’t see the necessary political momentum to deal with the issue, especially since no specific legislation has been proposed yet. Wayne said he hopes the governor can bring legislative leaders together to hammer out some kind of reform package that lawmakers can vote on before the session ends in mid April.