June 15, 2009

Serious Problems, Stark Choices


Kentucky’s tax system currently faces two serious problems. The first – and most immediate – is that Kentucky’s tax system is insufficient, as it fails to produce enough revenue to fund the public services on which Kentuckians rely. Recent data from the Commonwealth’s Consensus Forecasting Group (CFG) indicate that Kentucky faces a $996 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year, due in part to declines in the principal taxes Kentucky levies. The second problem, while less pressing, is arguably more persistent. Kentucky’s tax system has long been inequitable, requiring low- and moderate-income residents to pay more in taxes relative to their incomes than wealthier individuals and families. In fact, in 2007, state and local taxes as a share of income were nearly twice as high for middle-class Kentucky taxpayers as they were for the most affluent.

Read the Full Report (PDF)