The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

February 5, 2014

Governor’s plan doesn’t go far enough

RICHMOND — Gov. Steve Beshear deserves recognition for bringing forward this week a specific tax reform proposal for consideration. His plan contains some good ideas, especially in that it would raise new revenue and includes modest assistance to families struggling to get by on low wages through the creation of a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

However, the plan would generate only one-third of the new revenue proposed for Kentucky’s needs by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.

The governor’s plan emphasizes competitiveness. But the key to economic growth is not more cuts to business taxes, which are already low compared to other states and which studies show matter little in creating a strong economy. Rather, it’s our ability to afford critical public investments in education, health and other areas that our state has neglected for too long.

We appreciate the dialogue that will commence with the governor’s tax proposal. Moving forward in this debate, lawmakers should give additional attention to Kentucky’s revenue needs and to the fairness of the tax code.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy will be conducting additional analysis of the plan as information comes available.

The Jason Bailey is director of the Berea-based Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that conducts research, analysis and education on policy issues facing Kentucky. Launched in 2011, the center is a project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). For more details, visit KCEP’s website, www.kypolicy.org.

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Viewpoints
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