Are the recent moves by key companies in Ky. rekindling tax reform talk?

05/01/2014 05:11 PM

Toyota’s decision to consolidate its North American headquarters in Texas, which includes abandoning its facility in Erlanger, had nothing to do with the state’s tax code or business climate, Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday.

So Beshear said he had no plans to use the issue as hook to get lawmakers re-engaged in discussions about tax reform before the 2015 legislative session — Beshear’s last as governor.

Beshear said he’s confident Kentucky’s tax code, and specifically its 6 percent corporate tax for the highest-earning companies, had nothing to do with Toyota’s decision to combine its three main headquarters to one in Plano, Texas. Toyota will close regional headquarters in California and New York in addition to Erlanger.

Beshear said the company sought to pick a “neutral spot.”

Beshear also said he’s not worried about fast food company Yum! Brands moving its corporate headquarters out of Louisville with the news that a new CEO would take over for David Novak. Yum! is promoting the head of its Taco Bell division to take the company’s helm.

Beshear made the comments Thursday after a ceremonial bill signing at the Louisville International Convention Center. The governor was touting the passage of a bill that allows Louisville to use money from its hotel room tax to pay off $41 million in bonds for the expansion and improvements to the center. Officials estimate the project will boost the convention center’s economic development from more than $43 million to more htan $53 million a year.

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