Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 6, 2013

Beshear comes out strong for tax reform

Governor: Education needs reliable funding

FRANKFORT — Politically secure after re-election to a second term, the Kentucky governor, who has presided over $1.6 billion in budget cuts in five years, called on lawmakers Wednesday evening to step up and tackle the state’s persistently stagnant revenue problems.

Gov. Steve Beshear came out forcefully for tax reform in his annual State of the Commonwealth speech, saying education and Kentucky’s future are at risk and nothing – not even the need to reform the state pension systems – should overshadow the necessity of finding dependable, reliable funding for education.

Beshear seemed to aim his somber, at times almost funereal  speech squarely at 138 lawmakers rather than the wider electorate.

Reiterating dire warnings his cabinet secretary, Mary Lassiter, made to the legislature’s budget committees on Tuesday, Beshear said as bad as things look, “the good news is we know what we have to do.

“But delay could be deadly,” he said.

Beshear was referring to recommendations of a Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform led by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson that offered 92 recommendations which would raise an additional $650 million to $690 million a year.

The recommendations would increase cigarette and utility taxes as well as extend sales taxes to some unspecified services. It would lower top corporate and individual tax rates while adding an individual tax bracket and reducing several business taxes. The commission also called for a lower cap on total tax deductions and for taxing retiree benefits and income above $30,000.

Beshear conceded passage of tax reform isn’t likely in the regular session, saying his agenda “is not only for this short session but also for the year ahead” – an obvious implication that he intends to call for a special session to pass tax reform.

“By the end of this session, we must have moved closer toward an agreement of both what needs to be done – and, just as important – how to pay for it,” Beshear said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0416explosives0166 copy.jpg UPDATE: U.S. 23 reopened; explosives eliminated

    More information on the U.S. 23 closure from the the Kentucky Department of Highways.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415amy4.jpg Local family in midst of marathon tragedy

    Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings that shook the world.
     

    April 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Shay receives 38 years for fatal shooting

    Casey R. Shay, 27, of Morehead, was sentenced Monday to 38 years in prison for the fatal shooting last year of Cassandra M. “Cassie” Owens, 21.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416homegarden.jpg Space not problem with home garden

    Growing your own dinner is not a concept lost on Kenny Imel.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greenup court jumpstarts road repairs

    As part of the Greenup County Fiscal Court’s annual expenses, the court approved the first reading of an ordinance that allots up to $1.5 million for blacktopping damaged county roads.

    April 15, 2014

  • Nursing home reports drug theft to APD

    Woodland Oaks Health Care Facility, 1820 Oakview Road, on Monday reported the theft of 30 hydrocodone tablets from a secured area within the nursing home.

    April 15, 2014

  • Devices left from previous construction discovered

    All four lanes of U.S. 23 were shut down for nearly two hours Tuesday following the discovery of old explosives on a hillside rock cut.
    The devices apparently were left over from a previous construction project and were discovered by a crew working on the new Ironton-Russell Bridge, Russell Police Chief Tim Wilson said.

    April 15, 2014

  • Boyd walk to raise awareness of autism

    The differences in the nine children in Carla Malone’s classroom are striking.
    A few can talk, but some won’t make a sound and others jabber apparent nonsense sounds.
    There are playful children and those who keep to themselves. Some of the children can read and do other academic tasks. Schoolwork for others means matching pictures and doing exercises to develop fine motor skills, like learning to hold a pencil.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014