2:34 am
Wed February 18, 2009

Tilley Tries for Military Exemption

Frankfort, KY – Kentucky's 8th District State Representative John Tilley is trying again to secure a tax exemption for active duty military, this time by attaching it to an expanded gaming bill, which allows Video Lottery Terminals, or VLT's, at horse racing tracks. Carrie Pond has more.

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Tilley hopes to combat criticism that a tax cut during a deficit is a bad idea by attaching it to a bill that he says has the potential to raise 500 million dollars a year when it's fully matured. He adds the benefits of a military tax exemption will far outweigh the initial funding costs. Tilley says Christian County has the highest population leakage of any county in the state because it hasn't been able to attract the 30 to 35 thousand soldiers from Fort Campbell. On the other side of the base, Clarksville, TN has quadrupled in size since the 1970s.

"We're talking about well over a billion dollar payroll and an economic impact unlike any other in that area. And Tennessee's seized advantage of it while we've largely slept through it and missed the opportunity to grow."

Tilley says the exemption would mature along with revenues from the VLT bill, only offering full exemptions after maximum funds are earned from the measure. House Speaker Greg Stumbo has expressed doubt the bill will pass this session. Christian County representatives first tried to pass a military tax exemption in 2005.