Another devastating impact of the legislature's refusal to pass comprehensive tax reform kicked into full gear last week. It was the first week that many Kentucky families are facing full-on the recent cuts to Kinship Care and the Child Care Assistance Program.
The $1.6 billion in state budget cuts have made college less affordable, kept new textbooks out of schools and reduced access to services for the elderly and people with disabilities.
But not since his State of the Commonwealth speech have we heard Gov. Beshear talk up the advantages of adjusting the outdated tax code to a modern economy. If he's serious about tax reform, he should start soon; it's his best and probably last shot at going down as more than a caretaker governor.
“What would it mean for our economic development if Kentucky had a reputation nationally as having the best-educated and most skilled workers? Wouldn’t that be exciting? Wouldn’t that be a place where you’d want to live and raise a family, as well as locate your business?”
– Becki Winchel, Jefferson County Chapter
|Eastern Kentucky members came together to participate in a Blue Ribbon hearing on tax reform in Prestonsburg last year.|
This year is Kentucky’s best opportunity to pass the meaningful tax reforms that we need right now. And reforms are likely to be taken up during a special legislative session this spring. But so far, the legislature has held no hearings — no chance for public input or conversation — about good policies and reforms. Our ability to make progress toward the Kentucky we deserve is too important to let legislators address it behind closed doors, without public input.
Now is the time to voice your support for the Kentucky Forward Plan, HB 142, sponsored by Rep. Jim Wayne, and push for a hearing for HB 142. This bill would raise around $800 million a year in much needed revenue, and would make our tax structure fairer across income levels. (Learn more about HB 142)
This year is Kentucky's best opportunity to pass meangingful tax reforms. The Blue Ribbon Commission meetings invited Kentuckians from all over the state to participate in the conversation, the governor is showing leadership, and the need has never been greater.