GOP lawmaker says candidates for governor are unlikely to deliver tax reform

09/21/2011 04:38 PM

Governor Steve Beshear doesn’t seem to want to use his lead in the polls to lay the groundwork for a mandate for tax reform, while Republican challenger David Williams’ tax plan has problems, said Republican state Rep. Mike Nemes.

Nemes, a first-year lawmaker from Louisville, said changes are needed in Kentucky’s tax system. But he said he has yet to hear a politically viable plan from Beshear, Williams or independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith.

“If the governor stays in, this won’t happen. If David Williams gets in, he has a fight on his hands,” Nemes said just before the 5:00 mark.

Nemes said he’s skeptical of eliminating the personal and corporate income taxes and replacing it with some form of a consumption tax, as Williams has suggested.

“It sounds a little radical from the start. But I’m not saying it wouldn’t work … But if you’re proposing a straight-line sales tax on everything — your gardener, your real estate agent, this and that, you’re going to have a whole lot of entities disliking this. Then you’re going to be picking winners and losers, which David Williams is usually against,” Nemes said at 5:45 in the video.

Williams wants a commission to craft the details of a new plan that would scrap the income taxes. That commission, as Williams envisions it, would then suggest a new tax structure to the legislature which could either approve that plan wholesale or reject it — but not amend the plan.

“I don’t like that. I think we were elected to have input,” Nemes said at 6:25 of the video.

Nemes also talked about needed education changes, charter schools.

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