Author Topic: Anyone from Kentucky?  (Read 326 times)

Online Solar

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Anyone from Kentucky?
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:00:56 AM »
This just seems to weird...

FRANKFORT, Ky. — An eleventh-hour bill that establishes a flat state income tax rate of 5 percent, applies the sales tax to 17 services, and increases the cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack was unveiled Monday morning and later approved by the narrowest of margins by the House and Senate.

The bill, which represents the first significant change to the Kentucky tax code since 2005, was passed exclusively on votes of Republicans: 20-18 in the Senate and 51-44 in the House.

As a tax bill, it required a majority of all members in the 100-member House and 38-member Senate to pass. It got those votes with none to spare.

Republicans said the mix of tax cuts and increases in the bill would make Kentucky more competitive with surrounding states and generate $239 million in additional state revenue in 2019 and $248 million more in 2020 — dollars crucial to adequately funding public schools in the 2018-20 state budget.

"The time is now to act. The time is now to put the state in the right direction," said House Republican Leader Jonathan Shell, of Lancaster.

But Democrats complained about having no input and only a few hours to study the bill before voting. While more revenue is needed, they argued that the bill shifts the tax burden from the wealthy and corporations and to low- and middle-income Kentuckians.

Rep. Angie Hatton, D-Whitesburg, said the bill is "Creme brulee for the rich and crumbs for the poor."

Gov. Matt Bevin does not like it either, saying in a statement the tax and budget bills passed Monday do not meet "basic standards of fiscal responsibility." But Bevin's statement did not say whether he plans to veto the bill.

Passage of the surprise tax bill — unveiled by a conference committee controlled by legislative leaders only Monday morning - allowed lawmakers to later Monday pass the 2018-20 state budget bill by somewhat wider margins.

The budget and tax bill votes, and last week's surprise pension reform bill, brought thousands of teachers to the Capitol on Monday. They made their reactions clear as they crowded a committee room and the galleries of the House and Senate as the bills zipped through the legislative process.

A report that Family Resource Centers would be fully funded under the budget bill brought cheers and whoops from the teachers. And Rep. Steven Rudy, R-Paducah, said the proposal did not include money for charter schools.

New revenue from the tax bill allowed the legislature to restore the public school funding for student transportation and local district health insurance in the budget - money that would have been cut in the budget proposed in January by Bevin.


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