Kentucky Lawmakers Stay Reluctant on Tax Reform

Jul 22, 2013

In less than a month, Kentucky lawmakers are back in Frankfort for a special session on redistricting, but  there are no plans yet to resolve another issue facing the state.

There's been no movement on comprehensive tax reform since a commission chaired by Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson offered recommendations last fall.  The group suggested raising the cigarette tax, expanding the sales tax, and allowing local governments to levy a sales tax on special projects. 

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says modernizing the tax structure doesn't seem to be on anyone's agenda.

“I’ve never even spoke to Lieutenant Governor Abramson about the recommendations," Stumbo claims. "He’s never come by to explain to me and as far as I know he’s not been explaining them to other members of the general assembly, or very few members of the general assembly I would say.”

Stumbo says lawmakers are resistant to make tax changes because "somebody pays more and somebody pays less."  Regardless, the House leader says tax reform must be accomplished.  He says as the nation's economy grows, states continue to lag behind, and he blames that on tax structures that are not fully linked to the modern economy.