1:53pm

Thu May 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Tax Reform Commission Hires Consultants

Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the selection of a consultant team to assist his 23-member tax reform commission in studying how to better align the state’s tax code. The governor’s office has awarded the contract for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform to a three-person team of Dr. William Hoyt and Michael Childress, from the University of Kentucky, and Dr. William Fox, of the University of Tennessee, according to a statement from Beshear's office.

“These consultants bring a wealth of expertise to the commission’s goal of improving our tax code with the principles of fairness, business competitiveness and a 21st Century economy,” Beshear said. “Dr. Hoyt and Mr. Childress have remarkable track records in this area, and Dr. Fox is another premiere expert with a broad range of knowledge on this subject.”

Hoyt is the director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at UK, and Childress is with the Center for Business and Economic Research at UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. Fox is a professor in the department of economics at the University of Tennessee and the director of the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research. He has served as a consultant on finance, taxation, and economic development in a number of states and developing countries.

Chaired by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform began its work earlier this year. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8, at 1 p.m., in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

The consultant team's job is to evaluate and summarize several areas of Kentucky’s tax system, as well as reviewing major tax reform efforts in competitor states and how those states addressed the particular principles the Kentucky commission has been instructed to uphold.

The team will also be asked to review and summarize the current burdens of taxation and compare the respective burden on individuals and corporations to competitor states, while evaluating the responsiveness of Kentucky’s tax code to changes in the economy.

The consultant team will deliver a report to the commission by Aug. 31 and will assist the commission in drafting its report to the governor by Nov. 15.

The commission is scheduled to hold several more meetings throughout the state this year. These meetings are scheduled in Frankfort, Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville, Covington, Prestonsburg and Lexington. A complete list of dates and times is available on the website. Citizens can offer comments through online forms or request to make presentations at the upcoming commission meetings.