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$1.33 Billion Toyota Investment Not Changing Legislators' Minds About Tax Reform

Hieng Ling Tie, 123rf Stock Photo

A one and a third billion dollar investment in Kentucky’s automotive industry is not changing a legislative leader’s mind about the need for broad tax reform. Toyota officials announced Monday plans to spend the funds over five years to revitalize design, engineering, and production at the Scott County plant.  

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, who represents the home of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, still sees a need for corporate tax changes. “I still think our tax code could do better in terms of attracting even more new businesses to Kentucky,” said Thayer.

Governor Matt Bevin remains committed to tax reform.  He says the state is doing well in economic growth because of his experience in and seriousness about business development.  But, the governor adds the Commonwealth is not nearly as competitive as it could or should be relative to other states.

The governor says Kentucky should take action to become less of a production-based tax economy. “We also shouldn’t have things like an inventory tax.  If we’re going to be the North American producer of goods that are going to be shipped all over the world, why would be we tax inventory?” asked Bevin.

Both Bevin and Thayer support a special session to tackle tax reform.  Senate leader Thayer believes agreement on tax changes could be made with an eye toward a session in September.  “We want our best salesman, Governor Matt Bevin, to tour the state this summer and sell it to the people of this Commonwealth before we bring our members back to Frankfort and ask them to vote on it,” explained Thayer.

For his part, Governor Bevin is prepared to take that message to Kentuckians.  “I’m committed to doing whatever is necessary to take it to people, answer their questions, and talk about the importance of it,” said Bevin.

The Kentucky General Assembly hasn’t taken action on comprehensive tax reform for decades.

  • © 2017 WEKU
Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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