A diverse group of education, economic, and health organizations is banding together to push for tax reform in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Together Coalition was formed days after Governor Matt Bevin proposed steep budget cuts to many state agencies. Coalition Spokesman Kenny Colston said the commonwealth currently loses more in tax breaks and loopholes than it receives in revenue.
"Many of these tax breaks were set up years or decades ago without any sunset provisions, and it's really a drain on the state budget," Colston told WKU Public Radio. "It's not necessarily raising taxes on people. We think these special interest tax breaks should be one of the first things looked at."
Governor Bevin’s administration has said it would consider tax reform after the current legislative session.
A commission established by former Governor Steve Beshear presented a plan in 2012 to modernize Kentucky’s tax system and generate nearly $700 million a year. However, state lawmakers didn’t act on the plan.
With proposed budget cuts to offset a major pension shortfall, the coalition argues tax reform is needed to protect the state’s vital public services.