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Governor Steve Beshear Plans to Tinker with Tax Reform Recommendations

Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has wrapped up its work, but Governor Steve Beshear says the biggest challenge to revising the tax code still remains.

Tax reform is on the tip of the tongue every few years in Frankfort. But historically, not much has been accomplished. Beshear will get the commission's latest recommendations for tax reform this week. And it'll be up to him to convince lawmakers that the panel's work is worth turning into law.

“I’ve got to take that and sit down and sift through it myself and also to sit down then with House and Senate leadership and get practical," says Beshear. "Taxes are a tough thing to handle politically as we all know, let’s sit down and see where some common ground is.”

The commission recommended a host of reforms, including expanding the sales tax on certain items, giving cities and counties the ability to temporarily raise the sales tax and taxing pensions. And while the governor has praised the commission’s work, the final recommendations aren’t likely to pass as is.

“The end product I’m sure will not look exactly like whatever is in the report and there may be a lot of give and take and I’m sure will be a lot of give and take on ideas that are expressed in there," says Beshear. "But there are a lot of good ideas in there and that will help us as we sift through all of that to hopefully find some common ground.”

Beshear says he may wait until a special session or 2014 to push the new reforms.

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