Posts Tagged ‘tax reform’

Digging into the Details of Tax Reform

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

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.

Watch the full Kentucky Tonight discussion.

Truth or Consequences on Tax Reform

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Tax reform was on the front burner Monday night on Kentucky Tonight when legislative leaders gathered around the table to discuss the complex and sometimes controversial measure.

Representatives Jim Wayne and Jeff Hoover and Senators Tom Buford and Gerald Neal all agreed that modernizing the state tax structure was extremely important, and they questioned why a plan or conversation about the issue was not taking place in Frankfort.

Governor Beshear’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform met last year and issued a final report and recommendations in December. Other than a few speeches, not much has been done to prepare the 2014 General Assembly for addressing tax reform.

The commission’s final report contained dozens of recommendations. Of course, a lot of the debate boils down to which taxes might be raised or lowered, and how these changes will affect Kentucky businesses and citizens. During Kentucky Tonight, lawmakers answered a viewer’s email which asked who would be the winners and losers if tax reform was enacted in the state.

You can watch the full program here.

On another matter, join me next Monday, July 22nd, for a live, special edition of One to One. I’ll be in the Louisville studio with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington. We will discuss the economic growth opportunities for the state’s two largest cities, and how an immigration plan might be received in their cities along with other issues they’re dealing with.

We want you to participate — during the broadcast, we will answer emails at and Tweets @BillKET. The program airs Monday, July 22nd at 8/7 Central on KET, and will also be streamed live at

Tax Reform on Kentucky Tonight

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Andy Hightower, one of our guests tonight on Kentucky Tonight wrote on his Kentucky Club for Growth website last week that the 2011 gubernatorial candidates had boiled down their action plans for comprehensive tax form to these phrases:

  • -Governor Steve Beshear: “Do Nothing”
  • -Senate President David Williams: “Create a Commission”
  • -Phil Moffett: “Simplify”
  • -Bobbie Holsclaw: “Wrong Foot”
  • -Gatewood Gailbraith: “Reward Certain Populations”

Which one, if any, do you agree with?

Our guests tonight are:

  • -State Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville
  • -State Rep. Bill Farmer, R-Lexington
  • -Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
  • -Andy Hightower, executive director of the Kentucky Club for Growth

I believe I’ll ask Andy to lead off the conversation tonight with an explanation of each of those proposals.

I hope you’ll join us tonight, January 31, at 8/7 pm CT on KET, on-line, and on the phone.  As always, you can send questions in advance or during the program by phone (800-494-7605) and email ( The program is closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired; the number for TDD calls is 800-395-5388.

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951