This from The Courier-Journal:
Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says he’s pleased with the early steps of the tax-reform panel that he chairs by appointment of his boss, Gov. Steve Beshear.
But some legislators who sit as nonvoting members of the panel caution that the goal of winning passage of a major tax reform in a politically divided General Assembly is a monumental challenge.
Beshear appointed the 23-member commission in February to recommend a plan to make Kentucky’s tax system more fair, more competitive with neighboring states, and capable of generating revenue to pay for the services Kentuckians need.
“I feel good,” Abramson said after the commission’s third meeting on Tuesday. “Members of the commission now share a basic knowledge of the tax system. Our next step will be to give the public an opportunity to engage.”
The state has also hired a team of three consultants on a $59,860 contract to study Kentucky’s system and make a report to the commission by Aug. 31. The consultants are William Hoyt, director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky; and Michael Childress, policy adviser to the dean of the College of Communications and Information Studies at UK; and William Fox, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee.
Hoyt told the commission Tuesday the consulting team would provide detailed data. The data, he said, will allow commissioners to see where Kentucky’s system is different and allow them to recommend how to make it more fair, simple, competitive and able to generate sufficient revenues.
“We’re not going to be making any statements about what’s a fair or unfair tax,” Hoyt said. But he said the data will show commission members “how our current tax structures, and alternative proposals, affect distribution of who pays the taxes under different scenarios.”