Spotlight: House GOP's tax guru spent last decade pushing for reforms

04/11/2012 01:44 PM

As a tax preparer, Republican Rep. Bill Farmer saw the flaws in Kentucky’s tax structure, which prompted him to run for the legislature in 2002.

Since then, he has pushed for revamping the system, including eliminating the personal income tax and replacing that state revenue by closing loopholes and spreading out the sales tax to other areas.

Farmer is serving as one of the non-voting members of a blue ribbon commission Gov. Steve Beshear formed to suggest ways to change the tax system.

But after 10 years in the House, Farmer withdrew from seeking a sixth term in the 88th House District in south Lexington.

Farmer has backed Republican Robert Benvenuti, a Lexington lawyer and former inspector general of the state health cabinet. Benvenuti is running against Democrat Reginald Thomas, an associate professor at Kentucky State University.

This is the ninth report in the series Pure Politics is airing with each of the 12 lawmakers who are retiring at the end of 2012. (That doesn’t count Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington who is not seeking re-election to the House because she is running for Congress).

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at


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