Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)


December 12, 2012

Tax reform proposals a good beginning

Dec. 12, 2012 — Lo and behold, a few days after we again criticized the tax reform commission, that group came up with some suggestions that give us hope.

The Louisville Courier-Journal described the recommendations as “refreshingly progressive and promising”.

That’s high praise for the umpteenth study we’ve had since someone first pointed out that much of our state tax code is a relic from the last century.

Gov. Steve Beshear and the legislature have had to slash $1.6 billion from the state budget since 2007 and state and local governments are desperate to recover those funds.

The new recommendations theoretically would produce nearly $700 million a year in new revenue and that would be a great beginning.

In our view, the governor and the General Assembly must make sure that tax reform really happens, starting in the 2013 session.

Insiders are saying Beshear is anxious to create a legacy in his second term and this could be his last, best chance.

He also may get another turn at bat with expanded gambling with new Republican leadership in the Senate.

However, it may not be realistic to expect lawmakers to reform taxes and put expanded gambling on the ballot in the same year.

We gladly commend the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform, ably headed by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, for coming up with a good starting place for modernizing Kentucky’s tax code.

Kentuckians don’t like higher taxes but neither should we tolerate having our citizens continue suffering from underfunded schools, public health programs, and social services.

Debate already has started on the proposal to raise the state cigarette tax from 60 cents a pack to a dollar. Some say it should be higher.

Senior citizens won’t enjoy paying more state income tax on retirement benefits but Kentucky’s exemption of $41,110 is among the nation’s highest. Social Security income would remain untaxed.

Text Only
  • Robbing Peter, Paul, and everyone else

    We intended that headline to read “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” but that was not broad enough to include all of the Kentuckians who pay into special funds that Gov. Steve Beshear again had to confiscate to balance the state’s budget.

    July 30, 2014

  • Five years and counting on Saturday mail

    It was five years ago when that marvel of fiscal management, the U. S. Postal Service (USPS), announced it would end Saturday mail delivery within six months.

    July 23, 2014

  • Yes, girls can become scientists, engineers

    We applaud the television commercials sponsored by Verizon which gently but effectively rebuke those among us who discourage girls and young women from careers in science, technology and mathematics.

    July 16, 2014

  • High court right on mobile phone ruling

    We don’t always agree with the rulings of the U. S. Supreme Court which is often divided with multiple opinions. But, for the moment, we feel better about the high court because of its recent ruling on searching mobile phones.

    July 9, 2014

  • Would we pay the same high price today?

    As we Americans take a day off from work on Friday to mark the 238th birthday of our country, can we find a few moments to reflect on those who made it happen?

    July 2, 2014

  • Trading Saturday mail for roads is a hoax

    Just when we thought all of the idiotic ideas had emerged from the current Congress, along came another doozy. A Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed that Saturday mail delivery be ended and the resulting savings be used to fix roads and bridges across America.

    June 25, 2014

  • Is history repeating itself in Iraq?

    If last week’s news from Iraq left you with a sense of déjà vu, you are not alone. “Déjà vu” is defined as “disagreeable familiarity or sameness” and that certainly fits what appears to be the emergence of another Islamic militant group which took control of two major cities in Iraq.

    June 18, 2014

  • Technology bringing closure to MIA families

    After 58 years in an unmarked grave in a military cemetery in Hawaii, a Kentucky soldier came home last Saturday to his family and a final resting place in his native soil.

    June 11, 2014

  • New state veterans leader a great choice

    Some may criticize Gov. Steve Beshear for appointing former Miss America Heather French Henry as commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Veterans Affairs.

    June 4, 2014

  • As is, Rupp Arena project not worth saving

    When the General Assembly decided last month not to allow state bonds to be used to help fund the Rupp Arena renovation, we said it was unfair because Louisville got state money for the KFC Yum Center four years earlier.

    May 28, 2014