Kentucky Political News Headlines

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform Meeting Summary

By Rachel Phelps

As you know the Governor's Tax Reform Commission met today to receive the independent report from their consultants.  Their report is to be used as a tool in the Commission issuing a final report but is not to be taken as a final recommendation by any means.  There are still several meetings left in the coming weeks before the Commission will issue a report and any recommendations.  We have been at the meeting all afternoon and they just released the report to the public so aside from our notes, we haven't had the opportunity to digest the report and that is true for the Commission members, as well.  The consultants were very strong in their statements that they are presenting options and not recommendations.

As you can see from the article and from the executive summary, a lot is put on the table - just about every option is covered in some way.  For that reason, we would caution getting too excited or exercised over any one piece of it until the Task Force and all other interests have an opportunity to absorb.  It is one thing to write it and another to consider it as a recommendation, and still another to try and pass it through the General Assembly. 

We would point out a couple of options that may be of interest--a gross receipts tax to replace the corporate income tax and the LLET.  It is shown as revenue neutral, stating it could be set at 1/3 of 1% to generate the same as the corporate income taxes.  The report lists the local option sales tax as an option to consider.  In addition some services are also listed that could be brought under the sales tax.  The report suggests as an option moving to a single sales factor.  In response to questions from the Commission the consultants noted they did not include some revenue raisers, like the cigarette tax, because it increases a set rate but does not broaden the base.  They also did not address issues related to the road fund.

Download the Executive Summary from the report which includes the options and the scoring on those options HERE.