Tax hike to address Ky. budget woes appears unlikely

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A tax increase appears to be off the table as part of a solution for an anticipated $1 billion hole in the state budget for the next fiscal year, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.

When Gov. Steve Beshear announced April 30 that his budget staff anticipated a revenue shortage of between $800 million and $1.1 billion, he said all options, including higher taxes, must be considered in dealing with the problem.

But Beshear, a Democrat, said in a statement released last week, "It is becoming increasingly clear that now is not the time to raise taxes on working families and small businesses."

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, made a nearly identical comment the previous week.

And Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, made his position clear at the Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner on May 9 in Louisville when he said, "We've given this governor as much money as he's going to get."

Advocates for public education and state-funded social services say the prospect of closing a billion-dollar budget gap without some new tax revenue is chilling. And advocates for tax reform vow to press against the political headwinds and get support for their ideas now, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Copyright - The Louisville Courier-Journal

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