Beshear's tax panel to include Todd, Silberman, Schuster, Bridgeman, Deaton, Booth and Forcht

02/09/2012 01:15 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear named to his blue ribbon commission on tax reform a mix of business leaders and education and social advocates, including former University of Kentucky President Lee Todd and the Prichard Committee’s Stu Silberman.

Todd told Pure Politics’ Don Weber that “it’s high time we look at the revenue picture for this state.” He cited the decline in state support for public universities as a main reason for a more reliable revenue stream. UK is slated to receive $284 million under the governor’s budget proposal in 2013 and 2014, which represents a backslide to 2004-5 levels.

Also joining the panel that will be chaired by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson are business leaders Luther Deaton, Pat Mulloy, Jim Booth, Marion Forcht and John Williams.

Sheila Schuster, Kentucky’s most well-known advocate for the disabled, also will serve on the panel.

Beshear once again gave the group their charge:

The full list includes:

  • Roszalyn Akins of Lexington, a retired teacher who started the Black Males Working academy for boys
  • Jason Bailey of Berea, who is director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a progressive economic think-tank
  • Jim Booth of Inez, a coal operator who served as chairman of Beshear’s inaugural committee and gave heavily to Beshear and Democratic Party causes
  • Junior Bridgeman of Louisville, former University of Louisville and NBA basketball player who owns Bridgeman Foods
  • Rocky Comito of Shepherdsville, who is president of the United Autoworkers
  • Luther Deaton of Nicholasville, who is president of Central Bank and a longtime supporter of the University of Kentucky
  • Marion Forcht of Corbin, a philanthropist and bank owner along with her husband Terry.
  • Rick Jordan of Walton, who is vice president and general manager of LSI Industries and has spent 30 years in manufacturing. He has been active with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and served on Gateway Community and Technical College’s board during the terms of Democratic Gov. Paul Patton and Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
  • Pat Mulloy of Louisville, who is the former state finance cabinet secretary under Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. and CEO of Senior Care
  • Sheila Schuster of Louisville, who is Kentucky’s most prominent advocate and lobbyist for the disabled
  • Stu Silberman of Lexington, who is the former school superintendent for Daviess and Fayette counties and is now the director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
  • Lee Todd of Lexington, the former University of Kentucky President
  • Leslie Weigel of Bowling Green, who is a retired banker and child development worker
  • John Williams of Paducah, who is chairman of Computer Services, Inc., and has been involved in education leadership training with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Joe Wright of Harned, who is a farmer and a Democratic donor
  • Cathy Zion of Louisville, who is the publisher of Zion Publications, which publishes “Today’s Woman” magazine

In addition, six lawmakers also will serve on the panel as non-voting, ex-officio members. Both chambers’ budget committee chairman will participate as well as several other legislators who have pushed for tax reform in the past:

  • House Democrats: Rep. Rick Rand, the appropriations and revenue committee chairman from Bedford and Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville who has pushed for tax increases on luxury services such as limousines.
  • House Republicans: Rep. Bill Farmer of Lexington, who has pushed for eliminating the personal income tax and spreading the sales tax to services.
  • Senate Republicans: Sen. Bob Leeper, the appropriations and revenue chairman from Paducah, and Sen. Paul Hornback of Shelbyville.

Senate Democrats: Sen. Gerald Neal of Louisville

— Video produced by Don Weber


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