Tax Reform And Expanded Gambling Offer Best Chance For New Revenue In 2014

Dec 17, 2013

Governor Steve Beshear says without new revenue, additional cuts might be necessary in order to bolster education funding in the state.

The governor told reporters Tuesday he plans to make another push for expanded gaming and tax reform to help fill the state coffers. Though unable to predict what specific changes might emerge from a tax reform deal, Beshear stressed that modernizing the tax code doesn’t necessarily translate to hikes.

"It doesn't mean that we're going to run out and raise people's rates. It means that we probably need to broaden our tax base and perhaps look at some services that the sales tax doesn't apply to at the moment but might be able to apply to," he said.

Beshear says he is currently working to see if any ideas from the year-old Blue Ribbon Commission Tax Reform Report can gain traction with both Republicans and Democrats.

The governor is also testing the waters again on expanded gaming, an issue that has not fared well in previous sessions.

"I am cautiously optimistic that something may happen with gaming because there is increased positive discussion about it on both sides of the aisle in both houses," Beshear said.

Asked what he would expect expanded gambling to generate, Beshear said the estimates he's seen generally run between $200 to $400M annually.