Economy

Panel Dismisses Idea of New Tax on Kentucky Food

Oct 25, 2012

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.

Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer of Kentucky is appearing at a job fair for veterans in Louisville this week. WAVE-TV reports the event will be from 9 a.m. to noon EDT Tuesday at the West Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes event is for veterans and military spouses.

A report released by a state commission says Tennessee needs $38 billion between now and 2015 to improve public infrastructure. Released by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the report shows what type of improvements are needed, from repairing roads and bridges to adding additional water lines and sewers.

For months, Kentucky lawmakers have been studying how to handle Kentucky's underfunded pension system. But the problems of the system have been occurring for longer than just a few months. Various proposals are on the table, but lawmakers may not have much time to come to a compromise.

Kentucky's General Fund Receipts increased by 5.3 percent last month, compared to September of last year. However, revenues  for the first quarter still fell below the pace needed to meet the official estimate. Meanwhile, road funds declined 3.9 percent.

Notices are going out in the mail to an estimated 37,000 Tennessee borrowers who may be eligible for payment under a $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement. Eligible borrowers will be receiving claim forms in the mail this month and Attorney General Bob Cooper of Tennessee urged residents to complete the forms and return them by the January 18, 2013 deadline.

Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has spent months learning how the state’s tax system works, and is now beginning to hammer out proposals to reform the state’s tax code. The commission met again this week  in Frankfort to hear some final reports from the Beshear administration on how Kentucky’s current revenue systems work.

“The Cost of Crime,” a new study by a Centre College professor, quantifies the burden of crime by estimating the annual cost of crime in the United States. Many studies measure crime by looking at raw numbers of thefts, murders and other criminal activities. David A. Anderson, Centre College’s Paul G. Blazer Professor of Economics, warns that these numbers can be misleading, especially when the number of crimes goes in one direction while the severity of crimes goes in the other.

Governor Steve Beshear is trying to raise awareness of Kentucky's offer of amnesty to delinquent taxpayers in hopes of filling state coffers with overdue cash. Beshear kicked off the first day of the amnesty offer Monday with a Capitol press conference, saying delinquent taxpayers can pay up without fear of penalties or prosecution.

Gov. Steve Beshear says he hasn't reached a conclusion on whether Kentucky should borrow enough money through the sale of government bonds to shore up the pension systems for state and local employees. The state employee retirement plan faces a $19 billion shortfall. Add to that the financial woes in plans covering local government employees, state police, teachers, lawmakers, judges and other court workers, and the shortfall reaches $30 billion.

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