Gov. Matt Bevin is calling upon the Kentucky General Assembly to make “bold, hard, decisions” when it comes to tax reform.
During Wednesday State of the Commonwealth speech, Bevin said tax reform and further steps to reduce the state’s $82 million pension deficit need to be done together in a special session this year. Bevin said some 300 tax loopholes deserve attention.
“We exempt more income in Kentucky than we take in. That’s going to have to change, ” Bevin said.
Regarding taxes, House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins said there must make a convincing argument to Kentuckians.
“We need to see, if we’re going to grow revenue how we’re going to do that and who it’s going to impact before we start talking about whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing."
Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Jeff Hoover both said their chambers can tackle reforms before the end of the year given sufficient time to develop tax and pension plans.
Afterwards, Louisville Senator Morgan McGarvey said he wasn’t sure how to interpret Bevin’s remarks.
“I don’t know what he means, whether he’s going to come in and raise taxes,” McGarvey said. “He said he’s going to lower the rates but broaden the base and cut out certain things."
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said there’s a need to broaden the tax base to create more taxpayers. But, Thayer said there isn’t a plan right now.