taxes

A new report from Pew Charitable Trusts shows tax revenues in Kentucky have rebounded to levels seen before the “Great Recession.” 

The report finds that a decade after the recession ended, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana are among the 45 states where tax revenue has fully recovered. “And when you look at Kentucky’s economy and population changes, for example, both have trailed the national average in recent years,” said Justin Theal, an officer with Pew. 

 

Theal said individual tax results can differ dramatically depending on economic conditions, population differences, and tax policy changes. 

 

 


Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin says that if he’s reelected, he’ll push for changes to the state’s tax code, including a shift from the income tax to a sales tax and raising the state’s gas tax.

Bevin made the comments during the Kentucky Association of Counties’ (KACo) annual conference on Wednesday at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. He also suggested eliminating the state’s estate and inventory taxes and allowing local governments to raise the sales tax.

Bevin said that the state needs to “stop taxing the job creators and the wealth producers.”

 


Becca Schimmel

The city of Bowling Green is considering next steps for what are known as  “Opportunity Zones”. The city recently held a workshop on the program, which is part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

Opportunity Zones aim to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities. 

Eligible areas are those with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or a median family income that doesn’t exceed 80 percent of the area’s median income.


Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Stocks plunged Wednesday on deepening worries over a slowdown in the global economy.

The Dow closed down 800 points, or about 3%. Investors have been whipsawed in recent days by mixed signals emerging from the Trump administration about tariffs and the escalating trade war with China.

The jitters were exacerbated amid worrisome economic data from two big countries. Germany posted negative growth in the latest quarter, and China's growth in industrial output fell to a 17-year low.

West Virginia Governor’s Office

Coal companies controlled by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to a settlement covering millions of dollars in overdue property taxes in four eastern Kentucky counties: Harlan, Knott, Magoffin, and Pike.

Checks totaling $1.2 million from Justice entities began rolling in last week, county officials said. According to state officials, the checks cover half the delinquent debt owed. Counties will receive the remaining amount in payments over the next six months.


West Virginia Governor’s Office

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit against 23 coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, seeking more than $4.7 million in unpaid fines and fees for mine safety and health violations.

The delinquent fines were brought to light by investigations by NPR and the Ohio Valley ReSource as the Justice companies’ overdue debts ballooned from just under $2 million in 2014 to more than $4 million in 2018.


J. Tyler Franklin

On the last day of the legislative session, Kentucky lawmakers are advancing new tax breaks that would benefit companies that are spread across multiple states and countries.

The measure allows multi-state companies that are now required to use “mandatory combined reporting”— a change to the tax code enacted by state lawmakers last year — to spread their financial losses evenly across their various affiliates, a financial benefit to the companies.

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Leaders of the Kentucky legislature have proposed revising the state’s tax code, cutting $105 million in state revenue largely by changing how local banks get taxed.

The move comes as Kentucky struggles with a massive pension debt that requires the state to put record amounts of money into the pension systems and as the state consistently has trouble generating enough tax revenue to pay for expenses.

House Speaker David Osborne, a Republican from Prospect, said that the local bank tax break will be expensive, but worth it.

Liz Schlemmer

Leaders of the Kentucky House and Senate have begun meeting behind closed doors to hammer out a final version of a bill that re-opens the two-year tax bill that passed last year.

A “free conference committee” is created when the two legislative chambers disagree on a final version of a bill. The process gives lawmakers wide latitude to make other additions to legislation.

But opponents of a separate bill that would give tax credits to people who make donations that go to private school scholarships are worried that the larger bill will wind up including the credit language.

Report Shows Economic Clout of Kentucky Bourbon Over Decade

Feb 6, 2019
Abbey Oldham

A decade ago, bourbon barons poured bottles of their precious amber liquid on the Kentucky Capitol steps to protest a looming tax hike. On Wednesday, industry officials stood with lawmakers to cheer another round of growth in the spirits sector.

The cause for celebration was a new study showing Kentucky bourbon flexing more economic clout as it matures, leading a distilled spirits industry that contributes $8.6 billion annually to the state's economy. Its economic output increased 60 percent in the past decade in Kentucky, where most of the world's bourbon is crafted.

Flickr/Creative Commons/401kcalculator.org

A new report says one-third of the more than $9 billion in announced investments for Kentucky last year wasn’t attached to any new jobs. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development said the state gave away more than $361 million in tax incentives in 2017.  

According to the report from the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, the state no longer releases a report listing facilities that closed in the state, making it difficult to determine how many net new jobs were created.

The report identified 1,209 jobs associated with Toyota’s $1.33 billion investment in 2017. But multiple news stories indicate no new jobs were connected to this investment, and the state’s Cabinet for economic development granted $43.5 million in tax breaks for the project.

JESSE WRIGHT / WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING

The Justice family companies’ difficulties paying taxes over the years are well documented. But tax collectors haven’t been the only ones trying to recover debts from companies once operated by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and now in control of his family.

A review of court documents by the Ohio Valley ReSource found at least five cases in which judges ruled that Justice family companies failed to pay suppliers for goods or services. When compelled by courts to pay, the companies either refused or failed to meet agreed upon payments.


flickr creative commons

A new study shows Kentucky’s business tax environment had the greatest improvement in the nation. The state ranked 23rd this year in the 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index published by the Tax Foundation, a 16 spot improvement over last year.

Kentucky went to a single rate individual and corporate income tax, eliminating some business tax credits. The state also expanded the sales tax base and began phasing out inventory tax credits, or taxes on inventory held in the state by businesses. Those changes went  into effect on July 1st. The annual State Business Tax Climate Index shows Kentucky adopted a revenue-positive tax reform, meaning the state should collect more from the changes. Senior policy analyst Jared Walczak said the Commonwealth is moving towards a more competitive tax code.

JESSE WRIGHT / WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING

A federal court has ordered the U.S. Marshal to collect more than $1 million owed by two coal companies controlled by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia issued the writ of execution Wednesday, giving the U.S. Marshal the go-ahead to tap into multiple bank accounts associated with two Justice family-controlled coal companies, Southern Coal Corporation and Kentucky Fuel Corporation.

Paper company WestRock CP LLC and Southern Coal Corp. have for years been fighting in court over a coal supply agreement for a paper mill in Florida. The parties had settled, but after making three payments, Southern Coal Corp. stopped. This year, a federal court awarded WestRock a settlement totaling just over $1 million.

Ashton Marra, WVPB

In October, 2016, NPR, Ohio Valley ReSource and its partners reported that West Virginia billionaire coal baron Jim Justice, who was running for governor as a Democrat, owned companies that owed roughly $15 million in overdue taxes and mine safety fines.

This week, Gov. Justice, who is now a Republican, made an announcement about those taxes.

“I think we can put to bed once and for all this tax issue that’s been looming around forever more,” Justice said at a Monday press conference. 


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