Politics & Government

Panel studying Kentucky's tax laws plans to hire consultant

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear's special commission to draft a plan to overhaul the state's tax laws started its first day of work Tuesday by putting out a proposal to hire a consultant.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, chairman of the 23-member panel, said Beshear considered it "imperative that we have someone from the outside who could lead this group through the issues" that the governor considers important.

The consultant, Abramson said, will see how Kentucky's tax structure compares with surrounding states. The cost for the consultant has not been determined, he said.

Beshear announced in January the formation of the panel to try to make the state's tax code more equitable and to make it more competitive in economic development. The group is to submit its report by the end of the year.

At its first meeting, Greg Harkenrider, deputy executive director of the Governor's Office for Economic Analysis, provided an overview of basic tax principles.

For information about the panel, go to Ltgovernor.ky.gov.