Better business climate at center of tax reform discussion, Thayer says

05/29/2014 12:34 PM

When looking at reforming Kentucky’s tax code, Republicans will go along with it
only if they believe the changes will foster job creation, such as with lower rates, said state Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown.

Thayer pointed to some smaller pieces of tax reform the legislature has passed recently but said fully revamping the state’s tax code needs to be done in the context of a governors race.

“The candidates for governor, once they win their party’s nomination, talk about their vision for tax reform as a part of their platform,” Thayer said (at 1:30). “I think then that makes it easier for the General Assembly to accept something and move forward with it if it has been debated for the better part of a year in a statewide governors race.”

As for tax credits currently in place, Thayer said he is open to having regular evaluations on the credits given back to companies worth $7.9 billion a year to make sure there is no overlap with federal law.

Thayer said flaws in Kentucky’s tax code is one of the reasons he believes Toyota decided to move their headquarters to Texas. Thayer added the move is all part of a bigger narrative about what needs to change in the state.

“There are a lot of other states, pretty much all of them led by Republican governors and Republican legislatures, that have created a much better business climate,” Thayer said (at 5:30). “Not only with taxes but also with other things like right to work, tort reform and charter schools because it sends a message to the community that we value making sure every kid has an opportunity to get a great education.”

Because of the emphasis many businesses put on needing a more educated work force, Thayer said Kentucky has made strong commitments to making sure the state is able to compete.

“We are going to build a new BCTC campus in Georgetown because we know that our manufacturing sector is saying we don’t have enough educated graduates ready to go to work in the manufacturing sector,” Thayer said. “I think work force development is a strong component of a positive business climate and that is one area where I think we have done pretty well.”


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