In a somewhat surprising move, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has vetoed a proposed tax increase. Residents feared the new Kentucky tax law and its $480 million in new taxes would lead to an increase in cost of living.
The proposed $480 million tax bill also included a 2-year budget and was largely aimed at financing the state’s increased education funding. However, governor Bevin was not convinced.
Bevin vetoed the new Kentucky tax law, declaring it to be irresponsible. He reasoned that the new taxes would not generate as much money as lawmakers believed it would and would lead to a $50 million hole in the budget within two years. and would leave a $50 million hole in the budget after two years.
Bevin criticized state lawmakers for approving $600 million in new spending, calling out members of his own party in the process.
“I did not take this job to make people politically happy,” Bevin said. “Those of you who are parents understand this. Sometimes making the hard decision, putting the sugary cereal back on the shelf, doesn’t make everyone involved in that situation happy. But sometimes it is the right thing to do.”
The proposed bill would have restructured Kentucky’s state income tax brackets. The bill had also included a number of new taxes that would be levied on various industries. Among them: landscaping, janitorial work, and pet grooming.
Republican lawmakers urged Bevin to reconsider and to meet with them before officially vetoing the bill. Bevin appeared to decline and vetoed both the tax and spending bill.
Too Many Taxes?
The future remains uncertain for Kentucky educators who have been protesting due to low wages and poor working conditions. The tax bill was intended to pay for an increase in state education funding. How that funding will be paid for is anyone’s guess at this point.
It seems likely that new Kentucky taxes will be on their way, it just won’t be this bill this time.
Kentucky remains a state with a moderate cost of living. The state enjoys relatively moderate state income and property taxes. In fact, Kentucky is a prime destination for individuals migrating out of higher tax states.
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