11:50am

Wed February 6, 2013
State Capitol

Tax Reform Now or Later

Kentucky lawmakers seemed eager to dig into another tax reform bill this year, but the chair of the latest tax reform commission says reform isn't likely coming soon.   Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson,who chaired the commission and Mary Lassiter, the secretary of the cabinet, addressed lawmakers on the budget committees about the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission.  Many lawmakers were eager to see a bill filed, even if tax reform is unlikely in this year's regular session. But Lassiter and Abramson implied that one was not likely anytime soon.

But State Rep. Jim Wayne, a Democrat from Louisville, who unveiled his own tax reform bill today, said he would still like the see the commission's suggestions in bill form.

State Rep. Derrick Graham, a Democrat from Frankfort, said he would like to deal with tax reform before other pressing issues.

"This particular issue of tax modernization or tax reform or whatever you want to call it, that we really have to address this first, before we address the issue of pensions," Graham said.

Abramson told lawmakers that the state needs tax reform to prevent a bigger annual deficit in the state budget and to help restore cuts to vital state government services.

"And their bottom line was, if you do nothing, you're going to have to come up with by the year 2020, another, another, an additional billion dollars because that is where the spread is going regarding what's being brought in and what we need," Abramson said.

Abramson says tax reform is most likely to be taken up in a special session later this year.