Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 6, 2012

Tax commission makes recommendations

FRANKFORT — A Blue Ribbon Tax Commission appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear is recommending raising about $690 million in new revenue by lowering corporate and individual tax rates while limiting some deductions, raising tobacco taxes and extending the sales tax to some services.

The proposals face an uncertain reception in the General Assembly which has been reluctant to take on tax reform because of fears lawmakers will be accused of raising some taxes.

Even Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who chaired the commission, concedes some of the proposals aren’t likely to pass legislative muster.

“I think there are some items on here that have little or no chance,” Abramson said after Thursday’s meeting. “But that’s the politics of the General Assembly and the governor.”

Even if the full package were to clear the legislative hurdle, the full amount might not be available for expanded services because the legislature will also receive recommendations from a pension tax reform task force to begin annually appropriating more than $300 million to shore up those funds.

“There’s connectivity between those two issues – there’s no doubt about that,” Abramson said. “But we didn’t make our decisions based on any looming financial cliff from the pension side of the equation. We tried to meet the governor’s five standards: fairness, competitiveness, elasticity, simplicity; and adequacy.”

That last standard might be hard to achieve as well. Abramson said the state budget has been cut $1.6 billion in the last five years, more than double the full amount achieved by the recommendations.

Changes to motor fuel and motor use taxes will reduce revenues to the road fund by $13 million.

Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, a non-voting member of the commission, said the additional amount for the state general fund “is not enough but it’s headed in the right direction.”

Text Only
Local News
  • In GOP South, pushback against Obama climate rules

    In the Republican-heavy Southeast, critics said Tuesday that a plan by President Barack Obama’s administration to cut pollution would raise electricity prices, result in job losses and may not significantly curtail the carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

    July 29, 2014

  • AK Steel posts smaller 2Q loss

    AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS) on Tuesday reported a smaller loss in its second quarter, and topped analysts' expectations.

    July 29, 2014

  • ambulance.jpg UPDATE: Major impact downtown in accident

    A morning accident left an ambulance resting on its side Tuesday morning in front of the Paramount Arts Center on Winchester Avenue.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Jesse Stuart Foundation celebrates 35 years

    The annual Jesse Stuart Foundation Open House from noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 will be a huge celebration.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729hagerman.jpg Hagerman talks law with Rotary

    At Monday’s lunchtime meeting of the Ashland Rotary Club, Boyd County Circuit Court Judge C. David Hagerman summed up current local legal trends — and how cases, courts and criminals have changed during his 20-plus year tenure.
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • POLICE BEAT: Houseguest steals valuables, nabbed at pawn shop

    Fish and houseguests both stink after three days — and much less time when a visitor pockets valuables without permission.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728bank5.jpg Iconic Gate City bank torn down after partial collapse

    This weekend, Catlettsburg’s downtown silhouette lost one of its longest-lived landmarks.
    Demolition workers began to tear down one of the Gate City’s oldest downtown buildings following the former Catlettsburg National Bank’s partial collapse.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Study shows room for parking improvement

    It has been suggested that the parking layout along Winchester Avenue should change, bringing the city’s main thoroughfare down to two lanes.

    July 28, 2014

  • Anti-smoking tour kicks off in Ashland

    A scan in 2009 that was supposed to show doctors what was causing Deborah Cline’s eye problems by chance revealed the cancer in her lung.
    Two years later, Roger Cline watched his wife die of lung cancer. Deborah Cline was 59 and had never smoked.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728bank5.jpg Gate City landmark demolished

    The historic Catlettsburg National Bank Building was being taken down after the front dormer window collapsed on Sunday.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos