Governor Steve Beshear today announced the selection of a consultant team to assist his 23-member tax reform commission in studying how to better align the state’s tax code. The Governor’s Office has awarded the contract for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform to a three-person of Dr. William Hoyt and Michael Childress, from the University of Kentucky, and Dr. William Fox, of the University of Tennessee. “These consultants bring a wealth of expertise to the commission’s goal of improving our tax code with the principles of fairness, business competitiveness and a 21st Century economy,” Gov. Beshear said. “Dr. Hoyt and Mr. Childress have remarkable track records in this area, and Dr. Fox is another premiere expert with a broad range of knowledge on this subject.” Dr. Hoyt is the director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at UK, and Childress is with the Center for Business and Economic Research at UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. Dr. Fox is a professor in the department of economics at the University of Tennessee and the director of the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research. He has served as a consultant on finance, taxation, and economic development in a number of states and developing countries.Tennessee - that's the state where they're trying to implement a Bronze-age moral code by banning hand-holding and the word "gay." Bastion of forward-thinking, that place is. Exhibit B: What really happens when states in this fuck-you-if-you-aren't-rich age start "reforming" taxes. Zandar:
If there's any red state "laboratory of democracy" where lunatic Republican economic theories get turned into applied legislation, it's Kansas. If you want to know what Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and the rest of the GOP Young Guns have up their sleeves for where you live, the Sunflower State is America's early warning system, and the state's working poor just got flattened by a fiscal EF5. Salon's Andrew Leonard:The Kentucky tax commission's next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8, at 1 p.m., in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. The commission is scheduled to hold several more meetings throughout the state this year. These meetings are scheduled in Frankfort, Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville, Covington, Prestonsburg and Lexington. A complete list of dates and times is available on the website. Citizens can offer comments through online forms or request to make presentations at the upcoming commission meetings. Fortunately, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is on the case.
Last week, Kansas House and Senate negotiators agreed on a new tax plan that will sharply cut income taxes for wealthy state residents while at the same time raising taxes on the poor. The result, predictably, will be a shortfall in state revenue that will undoubtedly force additional cuts to state services. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides the analysis, but you don’t have to trust the left-leaning think tank for the spin. A newly formed group of retired Kansas Republican legislators are also declaring that enough is enough. The bottom line is this: If you’re wealthy enough and smart enough to structure your business affairs correctly, you can avoid both corporate taxes and income taxes. But if you’re poor, you will have to choose between whether you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or a state-funded rebate on sales taxes charged on groceries. One or the other! Not both! Because if there is a tax loophole that favors working-class Americans, we’d better close it! The details are different, but the basic outline is similar to the ideas codified in Paul Ryan’s Mitt-Romney-endorsed budget: we’ll pay for tax cuts for the wealthy by cutting services that help the poor. Mitt Romney might not be as conservative as Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, but when the bills passed by a GOP-controlled legislature start arriving on his desk, his response will be identical: he’ll sign it.Meanwhile, the state plans to cut the top tax rate on the wealthy from 6.45% to 4.9%, and eliminate corporate taxes completely by 2017. Also, the state plans to repeal a "majority" of itemized deductions. And yes, most residents would have to then choose between the earned income tax credit or the grocery refund...and not get both. The bottom line: business owners in the state would get a massive tax break,while workers would have to pick up most of the tab. Kansas schools would also became dangerously underfunded, and the tax break that Kansas residents would have gotten on food by eliminating sales taxes on groceries has mysteriously vanished from the GOP tax plan. Tornado alley indeed, except this one's ripping through the pocketbooks of Kansas working class citizens. Pay attention, because these tax games are coming to a red state legislation and a GOP congress near you...
Blue Ribbon Tax Commission Webinar - May 23 - In January, Governor Beshear announced a Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform. The Commission will be hosting public meetings on taxes from May through August. Join KFTC on May 23 at 7 p.m. for a webinar to learn a little bit about how we're impacted by Kentucky's current budget landscape, our best opportunities to more forward, and to workshop statements to deliver at public meetings.
Blue Ribbon Tax Commission Public Meeting - May 29 - The first public meeting of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission will be held on May 29 at 6 p.m. at the Tilghman High School Auditorium in Paducah. We hope to have some KFTC representation at this meeting to share our values and vision with the Commission. If you are able to attend this public meeting, please email our Economic Justice Organizer, Jessica.