KY House Approves Budget Plan

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The Kentucky House has approved a budget balancing plan that raises taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

To raise revenue in a non-budget year, House leaders needed a supermajority, or 60 votes, to pass the tax bill. They got 66. Thirty-four lawmakers, including Republican Rep. Stan Lee of Lexington voted no.

“Raising taxes in a time of a bad economy is not good public policy. In all of recorded human history – some five thousand years of recorded human history – not one time has a government ever taxed an economy back into prosperity,” Lee said.

The measure, which doubles the current 30-cent cigarette tax, puts a six-percent retail tax on alcohol and raids the state’s rainy day fund now moves to the Senate. Senate President David Williams, who supports the bill, says the chamber will vote on it Friday.