Rep. Wayne says Ky. needs to go 'bold' with tax reform and consolidate county services

09/02/2011 10:44 AM

Kentucky should take “a bold approach” to improve the state’s tax base, while the wealthiest Kentuckians should pay a little more in income taxes and on certain services they use, said Rep. Jim Wayne.

Wayne, a Louisville Democrat, said aiming for a revenue neutral tax reform package is “pretty wimpy,” and Kentucky needs broader reforms than that. (6:00 into the interview).

“We have an outdated, inflexible, inadequate tax system in this state,” Wayne said at 0:30 into the interview.

Wayne made a pitch for the tax reform plan that he and other progressive groups have pushed for that would slightly raise the income tax for the wealthiest Kentuckians and keep it the same or lower for residents earning $75,000 and less. (1:15-3:45)

The plan also includes expanding the 6 percent sales tax to certain services, such as tailoring, landscaping services, country club dues and limousine services.

Wayne called for raising the cigarette tax another 50 cents and explained why he said that could be helpful to save the state government money. (4:00)

As for the legislature getting anything done with the tax code, Wayne said the biggest roadblock is fear among lawmakers. (5:45 -7:00)

“Many people in the legislature don’t want to talk taxes. They get really scared. They’re fearful that if you talk taxes, it will look like a tax increase,” Wayne said.

And Wayne said the tea party is an important force that should be listened to especially as state leaders consider consolidating county services to cut down on duplication among the 120 counties. (7:00)

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