Lawmakers Discuss Tax Amnesty

by Rick Howlett on January 20, 2009

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Legislative hearings continue in Frankfort on Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s budget-balancing plan.

With the state searching for ways to generate new revenue, tax amnesty is on the minds of some Senate Budget Committee members.

Previous amnesty efforts have raked in millions of dollars for the state, but Finance Secretary Jonathan Miller says it works best when used sparingly.

“Otherwise, you get a system where too many taxpayers just wait for the next amnesty, to pay their taxes,” Miller told lawmakers.

Miller doubts offering one now would do much to alleviate the state’s $456 million shortfall.

“Too much of the kind of money that we collect in a tax amnesty would be money that we would have collected anyway.”

Miller says one area the cabinet is looking for savings is energy costs, especially in the State Capitol and the Capitol Annex, the state’s two biggest energy users.

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