Moody’s has now joined Standard and Poor in downgrading Kentucky’s credit rating. The agency warned bond investors that the state does not collect enough revenue to resolve a public-pension shortfall amounting to billions of dollars.
There is no question that Kentucky should fulfill its promises to teachers and public-service employees, but not at the expense of children, elders, roads and libraries. The state needs more revenue. Now a group of legislators say it is time to dust off the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform report that was developed after hearing from people across the state in 2012. At that time, recommendations were made to make the tax system fairer, more competitive and simpler.
Today, low- and middle-income Kentuckians pay more of their income in taxes than high-income residents. The pre-filed bill BR 15 based on the commission report hopes to remedy this by asking those at the top to chip in a little more. The bill closes tax loopholes and adds new sources of revenue by expanding the sales tax to include luxury services. It’s a great start.
Let’s get on sound financial footing. Ask state representatives to take a serious look at BR 15.
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JoAnn R. Schwartz