cigarette taxes en Beshear Offers Tax Overhaul Plan <p>Gov. Steve Beshear has proposed sweeping changes to Kentucky's tax code that include lowering tax rates for individuals and businesses and expanding the sales tax to more services.<br /><br />The state's cigarette tax would increase to $1 a pack under the plan.<br /><br />Beshear said Tuesday his package includes 22 changes to the tax system. He calls it a "beginning point" in discussions with lawmakers to modernize the tax system to make Kentucky more competitive.<br /><br />The Democratic governor proposes applying the state sales tax to labor charged to fix such personal property as automobiles and computers.<br /><br />The sales tax also would apply to admissions to fitness centers and golf courses under the plan.<br /><br />Beshear says his plan would increase state General Fund revenues by nearly $210 million per year once fully implemented.<br /> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 19:18:34 +0000 Associated Press 43344 at Beshear Offers Tax Overhaul Plan Kentucky House Speaker: Use Cigarette Tax Hike to Fund Pensions <p></p><p>A leading Kentucky lawmaker says raising the cigarette tax to $1 a pack would generate about $100 million a year that could be used to shore up the pension system for government retirees.</p><p>House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters that that's one of several options House lawmakers are considering to bolster the pension system, which has a $33 billion unfunded liability.</p><p>The Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill last week that requires the state to make its full contribution to the pension system but doesn't identify a funding source to do that. Stumbo said the Democratic-led House wants a designated funding source.</p><p>The Senate bill also would create a 401(k)-like hybrid retirement plan that some House lawmakers want to remove from the legislation. Wed, 13 Feb 2013 12:49:24 +0000 Associated Press 26394 at Kentucky House Speaker: Use Cigarette Tax Hike to Fund Pensions New Zealand Takes Additional Steps to Reduce Smoking <p>Although many communities in the U.S. have taken steps to curb smoking, Kentucky tobacco growers continue to benefit from export sales. However, the government in New Zealand today is taking some very strong steps to discourage tobacco use. Thu, 24 May 2012 13:19:21 +0000 Dan Modlin & Associated Press 12939 at New Zealand Takes Additional Steps to Reduce Smoking