Blue Ribbon Tax Commission

Leaders from both the Kentucky House and Senate are scheduled to meet with Gov. Steve Beshear Monday to talk tax reform. 

Lawmakers have been waiting on details of a proposal. Beshear promised weeks ago he would come forward with a legislative proposal to reform taxes.  But, the particulars of how to change the state’s tax structure will likely be revealed in Monday's meeting.

Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson is still fighting for the legislature to take recommendations from his Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says he is looking to the General Assembly for movement on his recommendations for statewide tax reforms, and that he is not yet prepared to announce a decision on a potential 2015 bid for governor.

Abramson assumed the chairmanship of a commission on statewide tax reform shortly after taking office in 2011. In 2012, the commission performed an extensive review of Kentucky’s tax codes. That study became one of 12 the Commonwealth has conducted since 1982.

LRC Public Information

In just over a month, lawmakers are back in Frankfort for a special session on new boundaries for Kentucky’s legislative districts.  But, there are no plans yet to resolve another issue facing the state.

It’s often called real tax reform or comprehensive tax reform. And it’s been on Frankfort’s radar screen for years. Despite numerous proposals, no substantial change in tax policy has come under serious consideration at the statehouse. Gov. Beshear says Kentucky needs a ‘modern tax system’ responsive to a 21st century economy.  But, he admits, politicians would rather avoid the topic.

Kentucky lawmakers seemed eager to dig into another tax reform bill this year, but the chair of the latest tax reform commission says reform isn't likely coming soon.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson—who chaired the commission—and Mary Lassiter, the secretary of the cabinet, addressed lawmakers on the budget committees about the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission.

Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor says the Commonwealth has already cut $1.6 billion in government spending in the past five years, and without revenue growth and tax reform another $1 billion may need to be cut by 2020.

In a speech to the Paducah Rotary Club Wednesday the Lieutenant Governor explained the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform’s mission, and some of the recommendations. One of the commission’s proposed reforms suggests lowering the pension exemption rate from $41,000 to $30,000.


Kentucky lawmakers start their legislative session today where they're expected to consider tax reforms and search for ways to shore up the financially troubled pension system for government retirees. A task force appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear has recommended a series of changes to the state tax code that could generate more than $600 million in additional revenue. A separate legislative task force has recommended pumping more money into the pension system, which has a $33 billion unfunded liability.


Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform has proposed lowering individual and corporate tax rates, raising the cigarette tax and extending the state sales tax to certain services. Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says the changes recommended by the group would generate about $659 million in new state revenue each year. Abramson headed the commission and says the changes will make Kentucky more competitive in creating jobs.

  Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has wrapped up its work, but Governor Steve Beshear says the biggest challenge to revising the tax code still remains.

Tax reform is on the tip of the tongue every few years in Frankfort. But historically, not much has been accomplished. Beshear will get the commission's latest recommendations for tax reform this week. And it'll be up to him to convince lawmakers that the panel's work is worth turning into law.


The Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform meets today to share its recommendations with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. Beshear appointed the commission earlier this year to suggest ways to simplify the tax code and generate enough revenue to meet state needs and carry Kentuckians through the recession.