TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

July 22, 2013

Ideas plentiful but funding not

CORBIN —

By Ronnie Ellis / CNHI News Service

County officials gathered here for a joint conference of the Kentucky Judge/Executives and Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners associations have plenty of ideas about improving their communities.

What they say they don’t have is the means to implement those ideas. They’d like a little help from the General Assembly when it convenes in January. But they don’t expect to get much.

“There’s just so much they need to do up there,” said Monroe County Magistrate Alonzo Ford, a Republican. “They need to do some sort of tax reform.”

But Ford knows the political risk of raising taxes and he’s not counting on state lawmakers to take that risk. And as a Republican, Ford also is philosophically inclined to look first at the expenditure side.

“I’d say they need more money, but maybe they should just be more conservative,” Ford said.

Gov. Steve Beshear last year formed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform which recommended numerous changes to Kentucky’s tax code. The proposal would also generate between $60 million and $90 million in new state revenues.

But except for a few minor changes used to fund a change in the state pension funding system, none were ever acted upon.

Some lawmakers, including Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, and Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, have called for the governor to build public support for tax reform before the 2014 session and Hoover wants Beshear to put forth some specific proposals lawmakers can begin to debate.

Fulton County Judge/Executive David Gallagher, a registered independent, says the state needs to concentrate on economic development to make any real progress. But he’s skeptical about tax reform which raises taxes on those already paying them.

“You can’t just raise tax rates on people who are already hurting,” Gallagher said. “You’ve got to spread it out.”

Republican Barren County Judge/Executive Davie Greer thinks lawmakers should look at adding a penny to the existing sales tax.

But she acknowledged how difficult that might be by observing she’s not planning to run for another term. Nonetheless, Greer said, the state “needs more revenue to do the things we need.”

But Greer thinks it’s unlikely state lawmakers will take on the task — especially in a year when all 100 House members and half the 38 state Senators will be on the ballot that fall.

LaRue County Judge/Executive Tommy Turner has served on previous tax reform committees and study groups. He said if some of the recommendations offered by those groups had been adopted, “we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

But Turner, a Democrat, agrees with Republican Greer.

“There’s not enough will in Frankfort to do anything on tax reform,” Turner said.

Turner made the remark to a state legislator, Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington. But Simpson — who supports tax reform — said he isn’t optimistic significant tax reform can pass.

Tommy Barnett, a Republican Magistrate from Pulaski County, wants lawmakers to address a specific type of local tax — the occupational tax. He said lawmakers need to renew a provision that allows cities and counties to share occupational taxes which Barnet said are often collected on county residents who work in the cities.

Warren County’s Republican Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon favors tax reform which would include a local option for voters to approve increases in the sales tax to pay for specific projects.

Edmonson County Judge N.E. Reed, a Republican, doesn’t see tax reform occurring in the 2014 session. But he said the state can help local counties by taking over the expense of paying for state prisoners in county jails “for time served.”

Reed said his judicial circuit faces a significant backlog of criminal cases and some defendants don’t come to trial for 18 months or two years. Then when sentenced, they are often given credit for the time served in the county jail.

“They broke a state law; the state wanted them arrested and the state tried them,” Reed said. “But they want the county to pay for the costs of their medical care and incarceration.”

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0418 SLHS Brittany Vandeventer.jpg Driver's Seat

    The South Laurel Lady Cardinals escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Corbin Lady Redhounds after an exciting play at the plate that secured them the win.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jaguars split home contest with Middlesboro

    The North Laurel boys and girls tennis teams had mixed results when Middlesboro paid a visit.

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 CHS Baseball.jpg Still Rolling

    For the third time in a row the Corbin Redhounds were winners on Thursday night, this time defeating the Barbourville Tigers 8-0 in 13th Region basbeball action.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 SLHS Braden Miller.jpg South Laurel picks up 9-4 win over Panthers

    South Laurel’s Braden Miller came through in a big way during the Cardinals’ 9-4 win over Knox Central Thursday.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0319 chs Hannah Hart.jpg Season taking shape

    After seeing some impressive baseball, and softball games this past week, this I know — they’re only a handful of teams that will make a run for both the 13th Region baseball and softball titles.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ready for Action

    Seventy-five years is a long time, but in baseball years it seems like days.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0331 Fear Les Diamond Ratings.jpg Fear 'Les' Diamond Rankings

    The Lady Cardinals have recovered nicely after a loss to North Laurel by defeating Johnson Central, South Oldham and Whitley County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Net Gains

    The North Laurel Lady Jaguars managed to pick up two wins the past couple of days with victories over both Harlan and Rockcastle County while the Jaguar tennis team also picked up a victory over the Green Dragons.

    April 16, 2014

  • 0326 whs tennis.jpg Smashing Win

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Whitley County knocks off B'ville, 7-0

    March 28, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
SEC Times-Tribune