Murray-Calloway Co. Chamber Board Opposes Bevin's Proposed Pension Bill
The Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce Board has voted unanimously against Governor Matt Bevin's proposed pension plan.
The Chamber released a statement explaining their position on Monday. This is in opposition to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce who say they support the measure. President and CEO Aaron Dail said he has been a part of the conversations at the state level and that the state Chamber “just has a different perspective and purview.”
Dail said the board could not outweigh the negative effects on the local economy. He said, however, inaction is not a possibility. "But the current plan just goes too far in putting a lot of the burden on our school systems, our municipalities and the employees with in sight of it. And so that's why we believe that tax reform should happen first.”
A Murray-Calloway 2018 Public Policy Survey found favorable revenue sources through tax reform include increasing the cigarette tax, increasing the gas tax for infrastructure projects and increasing sales tax in exchange for lowering income tax.
These areas scored highest under the question, “Would you support the following additional revenue options if considered by the Kentucky General Assembly as part of a tax reform package?” The lowest-ranking areas include: raising personal income tax, raising property tax, lowering exemptions on retirement income and sunsetting economic development incentives.
Dail said the Murray-Calloway economy would lose a conservative estimate of $2.5 million under the proposed plan. This number comes from the local school systems and the mayor’s office, according to Dail, factoring in the 3% reduction in employee salaries and the extra 2% contribution from school systems and municipalities.
In addition to tax reform, the local Chamber urged lawmakers to create a payback plan over a 20-30 year period to fix the pension system.
Dail said the main purpose of their statement opposing the plan is to show support for local school districts, systems and municipalities and to also give Representative Kenny Imes and State Senator Stan Humphries feedback as to where the local business community stands on the issue.
This story has been updated.