Gov. Steve Beshear offered a tantalizing few words about reforming Kentucky's tax code in his innaugural address Tuesday.
"We must find the political courage and the will to lay the foundation for a better tomorrow.
"A foundation which requires, as we come out of this recession, the restructuring of our tax system to make it more fair and efficient to meet the needs of our people."
Beshear's staff, cabinet and the legislature should take those words as marching orders.
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Kentucky has struggled too long with an outmoded, unfair tax system that doesn't fully capture the ecnomic activity of our state.
Many of the things that affect Kentucky's revenue situation are, frankly, out of the control of anyone in Frankfort.
As a manufacturing state we rely on healthy economies throughout the nation and the world to provide markets for what we make.
As a state that gets more from the federal government than we pay in, we depend upon a sympathetic Congress and president to subsidize our operations.
Trade missions and lobbying efforts have their place, but at the end of the day Kentucky leaders don't control larger economies or the federal budget.
What they do control is taxation within our borders.
Beshear put tax reform on hold the last four years, saying a recession was no time to take on that challenge.
The recession is over, a weak recovery is underway. Tax reform now will position Kentucky to benefit fully and equitably when better days arrive.
This is the time.