Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams wants to eliminate Kentucky’s personal and corporate income taxes as part of his jobs plan. The proposal released Wednesday holds a number of ideas and makes a number of short-term recommendations to spur economic growth in the commonwealth such as eliminating local tax options, curtailing federal regulations and suspending certain taxes. Williams says getting rid of certain taxes is a crucial part of making the state competitive and better at creating and retaining jobs.
“In Kentucky the tax burden is on the honest, hard-working people and business owners. If you look at the states that don’t have persona income taxes—Florida, Texas, Tennessee—you’ll see states that have created more jobs than any other states,” he says. “It’s like giving the rank-and-file worker and the small business owner and the larger business owner a 6 or 7 percent raise.”
Under Williams’s plan, local voters could decide if their county should have right-to-work laws and prevailing wage for public works projects. He would also create an expert commission to draft an entirely new tax system and eliminate the income tax.
Earlier this year, Williams, who is the state Senate president, filed a bill to set up such a commission that passed the Senate. The measure failed to pass the Democratic-controlled House, however.
Williams says the panel will come up with a series of recommendations for an up-or-down vote in the state legislature.
“The first thing I’m going to do after I’m sworn in is to appoint this commission and they’ll immediately go around the state and take testimony and information to try and build support for this new system to eliminate the personal and corporate income tax,” he says.
The plan takes several jabs at President Obama, promising Williams will “lead the fight against Obamacare” and resist federal regulations, particularly from the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the coal industry.
But the Williams plan also carves out territory for alternative energy sources and embraces nuclear power plants by calling for a repeal to the moratorium.
“We’re going to need all the energy we can get to remain competitive. Inexpensive electricity is something that we need to keep these manufacturing jobs here in Kentucky and especially the residential costs to families to heat and cool their homes,” says Williams. “Nuclear power by in large has a great safety record over the world. The French, for example, have a long history of safe utilization of nuclear power plants and I don’t think anyone think the French are more adept at technology than the American scientists or engineers.”
The plan would also suspend taxes on energy; construction-related purchases; hay and feed; and the bourbon industry.
Williams is running against Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear and independent Gatewood Galbraith.