Weekend Chatter: C-J's look at Ky.'s broken tax system; Big state travelers; And Adkins gets a pass

09/16/2012 09:08 PM

Courier-Journal’s Loftus looks into problems with Kentucky’s tax code

Kentucky’s tax code includes 253 breaks for different items, including “textbooks to tombstones, locomotives to llamas, yearlings to yard sales,” the Courier-Journal’s Tom Loftus reported Sunday.

That was one of several key findings after Loftus’ three month review of the tax system. His article also cited a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that said the working poor pay bigger chunks of their income in state and local taxes than wealthier Kentuckians do.

But, as Loftus points out, past commissions and task forces assigned to review and change the tax code have yielded few results.

Gov. Steve Beshear created a blue ribbon task force of business leaders and social and education advocates that’s headed by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. The group has been meeting since the spring and is supposed to recommend to the General Assembly as series of reforms to the task force. Those recommendations are due by Thanksgiving.

State not cutting back much on travel

Kentucky state government employees have spent $128 million since 2008 on trips and slashed their travel budgets just 7 percent amid the recession, Roger Alford of the Associated Press reported.

Alford’s report showed that Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Jonathan Gassett was the biggest spender, racking up $71,000 in out-of-state travel that included 20 trips to Washington, D.C.

Personnel Board clears Rocky Adkins by 4-3 vote

The Personnel Board narrowly decided House Democratic Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins didn’t break the rules to influence the hiring of a prison employee at the state-run Little Sandy Correctional Complex in his home county, as the Herald-Leader’s Jack Brammer reported Friday.

The Personnel Board voted 4-3 after a closed-door discussion that Adkins didn’t improperly use his influence to get Charles Pennington the protected state merit job, Brammer reported.

Courier-Journal poll shows McConnell, Paul with slight majorities approve

The Courier-Journal’s Bluegrass Poll shows U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell with a 51 percent job approval rating among Republicans while 53 percent approve of the job fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is doing.

In the presidential race, the poll showed Republican Mitt Romney with support from 53 percent of likely Kentucky voters compared to 39 percent for President Barack Obama and 5 percent undecided, according to the newspaper on Sunday.


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