KFTC members get the Blue Ribbon!

Last night's marathon Public Input meeting marked the end of this important stage of the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission's process for recommending state tax reforms. Although a few good folks had to leave before they could deliver their statement – the meeting ran more than an hour over time – the call for progressive tax reforms and adequate revenue for health, education, and environmental protection and clean energy was loud and clear. Sixteen of the speakers lined up were KFTC members, some coming as concerned Kentuckians and some wearing the hat of an ally organization.

Blue Ribbon
Upcoming Meeting Schedule:
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
    1:00-4:00 p.m.
    Capitol Annex Room 149
    Frankfort, Kentucky
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
    1:00-4:00 p.m.
    Capitol Annex Room 154
    Frankfort, Kentucky
Thursday, November 8, 2012
    1:00-4:00 p.m.
    Capitol Annex Room 149
    Frankfort, Kentucky

There are lots of opportunities to stay engaged in the commission's process and progress from now until the legislative session. The commission will meet in Frankfort three more times, and the public is free to come to those meetings. The times and locations are below. And if you haven't submitted your comment online yet, please take a minute to do that this week!

Here are some excerpts from members' statements last night. They, along with members from the other meetings across the state, absolutely deserve Blue Ribbons for speaking out for what Kentuckians deserve!

“I’m a mom, a full-time employee,  a part-time employee, a homeowner, a landlord, and a student.  As a local working parent and student, the majority of my income is already invested in Kentucky’s future.… I recently spent several hundred dollars on back to school supplies, including paper, pencils, tissues, and hand sanitizer. Not only would I like Kentucky’s schools to be able to provide these supplies, but I would like to see Kentucky schools provide a competitive education including art, music, and technology for all of our children. By holding corporations accountable to pay their fair rate in taxes and equalizing the percentage of taxes paid by all Kentuckians we can raise our revenue and invest in Kentucky’s future.”  -- Psera Newman

"I want to flag...the long history the legislature has of granting tax incentives in order to attract business. There may be rationale for such gifts to entice a new industry. But it must never be permanent. There must be quid pro quo and once an industry is on its feet, making money the incentive must expire.  That is not RAISING their taxes, it is simply giving them the full responsibility of being a citizen here....

"We really don't need more minimum wage jobs on which our families cannot live.  We need clean, green jobs that pay a living wage and better.  We do not need industries that get rich on the backs of minimum wage workers.  We need support for small, locally owned businesses that are here because this is where they want to be.

"Design and establish a new paradigm.  Let incentives expire; review them regularly.  Better yet, write them to expire automatically, and show the people what we have gotten for those incentives – and that would not be more minimum wage jobs."  -- Joy Arnold

“I’m a pedicab driver, server, and WKU alumnus. I literally have to hustle to make my living.  I want to see a Kentucky that has opportunities for young people. Yet as I speak, tuition rates continue to rise as the state legislature fails to fund state universities to the level recommended by the Council on Postsecondary Education.

"I have watched my friends drop out of school. I have watched them enter a service economy where they’re taxed at a higher rate than the university presidents and state legislators that robbed them of their future to begin with. That’s not right.

"We have so much to offer this state and we want to stay here. We want to build our families here. But it’s really difficult right now. And it’s because the state isn’t investing in us.  Close the tax loopholes for luxury services, tax the folks that can pay, and give a break to the folks who are just trying to get by."-- Greg Capillo

“Because our income tax is only weakly progressive and our sales taxes strongly regressive, many of our richest citizens contribute a lower total percentage of their income to government than people who make much less money. Isn’t it fair to ask those individuals and businesses who have benefitted the most from our infrastructure of roads, schools, hospitals, and a financial and legal system built by preceding generations to contribute more to maintain and expand it?” -- Richard Mitchell, on behalf of the Kentucky Quakers

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