Governor Beshear says Kentucky needs a major influx of cash to help the state's ailing budget. He’s said before that he's against more taxes but there are both lobbyists and lawmakers who say that's just what Kentucky needs.
Representative Jim Wayne is proposing changes to Kentucky's tax structure such as restoring the estate tax, expanding the sales tax, and enacting a progressive income tax.
“Currently our working poor and low middle class citizens are paying 30 percent more of their incomes in state and local taxes than the top five percent, our very rich,” Rep. Wayne told the Special Subcommittee on Expanded Gaming.
House Bill 262 would also increase the sales tax on country club fees, chartered air flights and other services that Wayne says are used by the rich.
“The working families in my district pay a sales tax on Kentucky Kingdom, but the wealthy who play a round of golf at Valhalla Country Club pay no tax for their fun,” said Rep. Wayne.
The testimony came before the committee that's studying casino gaming. Representative Wayne says the tax hikes wouldn't replace gambling revenues; the money would just arrive sooner.
Health advocates are pushing for a higher cigarette tax. They also say the money would come quicker. The idea is for smokers to pay 75 cents more in taxes.