Kentucky Policy Group Criticizes State Tax Reform Plan

Apr 3, 2018

Credit Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

  A tax reform bill that passed Monday by Kentucky lawmakers is now awaiting a decision from Governor Matt Bevin. Some economists are saying the tax plan is more of a tax shift from wealthy individuals to middle and low income Kentuckians.

The plan would reduce the income tax rate for individuals as well as corporations. It would also broaden the services that could be taxed, such as landscaping, pet grooming and janitorial work.

Jason Bailey is the executive director of the liberal-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. He said a consumption-based tax system isn’t sustainable for Kentucky and would put the burden of taxes on people who earn less.

“Makes it harder to generate revenue because most of the income in the economy is going to the people at the top and you’re taxing them less then you’re collecting less for our schools, for our infrastructure, for our human services,” he said.  

Bailey said he’s also troubled by the way the plan moved through the legislature. He said the legislation should have had public input and debate.  

“It’s just the wrong way to govern. Any big complex issue like tax reform needs to see the light of day and needs to have lots of public input and public debate and this didn’t have that. It’s governing at its worst,” he said.

He said the state has already experienced 19 rounds of budget cuts over the past ten years, and the new tax plan could put the state’s public schools and services at risk for even more cuts.

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