Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he doesn't expect a tax reform package to be brought up for a vote in the current legislative session.
Stumbo told reporters Tuesday that such a package doesn't have the 60 votes necessary to pass in the House.
A special commission appointed by the governor proposed reforms that could generate about $690 million a year in additional revenue.
Stumbo said one of the proposals made by the commission could surface in days ahead as a method of shoring up Kentucky's weakening pension system for government retirees. That proposal calls for raising the cigarette tax from 60 cents to $1 a pack, which could generate $100 million for the pension system.
Kentucky lawmakers seemed eager to dig into another tax reform bill this year, but the chair of the latest tax reform commission says reform isn't likely coming soon.
Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson—who chaired the commission —and Mary Lassiter, the secretary of the cabinet, addressed lawmakers on the budget committees about the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission.
Many lawmakers were eager to see a bill filed, even if tax reform is unlikely in this year's regular session. But Lassiter and Abramson implied that one was not likely anytime soon.
But State Rep. Jim Wayne, a Democrat from Louisville, who unveiled his own tax reform bill today, said he would still like the see the commission's suggestions in bill form.
Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has wrapped up its work, but Governor Steve Beshear says the biggest challenge to revising the tax code still remains.
Tax reform is on the tip of the tongue every few years in Frankfort. But historically, not much has been accomplished. Beshear will get the commission's latest recommendations for tax reform this week. And it'll be up to him to convince lawmakers that the panel's work is worth turning into law.
The Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform is scheduled to meet Thursday to craft recommendations for Gov. Steve Beshear. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. EST in a conference room at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority's headquarters at 100 Airport Road in Frankfort.
Beshear appointed the panel earlier this year to recommend a simpler tax code that would generate enough revenue to meet state needs even during recessions.
In Thursday's meeting, Beshear said the commission will review Kentucky's individual income tax to see if changes are needed there.
What is expected to be the final meeting of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform has been set for next week in Frankfort. Members will be finalizing their recommendations for reforming Kentucky's tax code in the meeting that's set for Dec. 6.
A panel appointed by the governor to study tax reform in Kentucky has rejected a proposal to tax food at grocery stores. The idea was unpopular with the 17-member Blue Ribbon Commission of Tax Reform, which dismissed it as a burden on the poor. Consultants said a 6 percent tax could generate about $500 million each year.
Consultants hired last week to help Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Commission on tax reform stressed the importance of tax policies and business climates in surrounding states. A new rating released today by Chief Executive Magazine places Tennessee and Indiana in the top five states, in terms of having business-friendly climates.