Tax Reform

Executive Order #2012-103

Establishing the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has endured an historically significant recession while maintaining the retention and creation of new jobs as a top priority and recognizes the necessity of having a state taxing system that is consistent with that priority; and

WHEREAS, the states tax code is in need of comprehensive review to determine and evaluate the capacity of the current revenue structure to provide the funding required for essential governmental services for the benefit of Kentucky businesses and its citizens during the balance of this decade and beyond; and

WHEREAS, there has been legitimate debate concerning the states current tax code and its impact upon public policy and economic stakeholders, such that the time has come to forge a consensus of opinion regarding the states tax policy through renewed in-depth study, discussion, argument and vigorous debate from members of both the public and private sectors; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to critically examine the potential for developing and enacting legislation concerning a more administratively efficient and less burdensome tax system, which will not only promote economic competitiveness, but also grow with the economy to provide revenues necessary to support the needs of the citizens, and be supportive of education, families and children, which constitute the fundamental priorities, values and hopes for all Kentuckians and Kentuckys future:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Steven L. Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, pursuant to the authority vested in me by KRS 12.029, do hereby Order and Direct the following:

  1. The Governors Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform (hereinafter Commission) is hereby created and established. The Commission shall report directly to the Governor. The Commission shall have authority to hire a consultant to provide assistance in performing the duties and responsibilities assigned to it by this Order.

  2. The mission of the Commission shall be as follows:
    1. A. Conduct a comprehensive study and examination of the Commonwealths tax structure and recommend changes to the tax code in order to meet the long term needs of the state and its citizens.
    2. Study the burden of taxation on Kentucky taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, as compared to taxpayers in other states.
    3. Review recent changes and proposed modifications in the tax structures in other selected states.
    4. Thoroughly examine and address tax policy considerations concerning the issues of adequacy, efficiency, fairness and equity, as well as economic competitiveness to determine whether the states tax code currently operates in furtherance of these stated objectives.
    5. Recommend changes to our tax system in order to:
      1. fairly distribute the tax burden while keeping tax rates competitive;
      2. create a favorable business environment for existing firms and entrepreneurs and help to attract and retain firms and industries that will spur growth for the Commonwealth;
      3. provide sufficient elasticity so as to perform in accordance with changes in the economy
      4. produce revenue sufficient to adequately meet the needs of the states highest priorities including but not limited to education, jobs and protecting our most vulnerable citizens; and
      5. ensure efficiency in the collection and administration of taxes, such that our system is cost-effective for the state and straightforward for taxpayers.

  3. The Commission shall hold public meetings to receive input from the public and interested parties and shall receive testimony from experts in public finance, taxation and other stakeholders.

  4. The Commission shall complete its work and deliver its recommendations on issues, policies and programs affecting the Commonwealths tax structure by no later than November 15, 2012.

  5. The Commission shall be attached to the Office of the Governor for administrative and staff purposes. The Governors Office and all state agencies are hereby directed to take all actions necessary to provide assistance as needed to the Commission so as to effectuate the provisions of this Order.

  6. The Commission shall be chaired by Lieutenant Governor, Jerry E. Abramson. Members of the Commission shall meet at the call of the chair. Members of the Commission shall not be compensated but may be reimbursed for actual expenses, if any, incurred while performing the duties of the Commission.

  7. I hereby appoint the following to serve as members of the Commission:
    • Roszalyn M. Akins
    • Jason M. Bailey
    • James H. Booth
    • Ulysses L. Bridgeman, Jr.
    • Rocky Comito
    • Luther Deaton, Jr.
    • Marion C. Forcht
    • R. Richard Rick Jordan, Jr.
    • Pat Mulloy
    • Shelia A. Schuster, Ph.D.
    • Stu Silberman
    • Lee T. Todd, Jr.,
    • Leslie A. Weigel
    • Joe Wright
    • John A. Williams, Sr.
    • Cathy S. Zion
    • Senator Bob Leeper, Non-Voting Ex Officio Member
    • Senator Paul Hornback, Non-Voting Ex Officio Member
    • Senator Gerald Neal, Non-Voting Ex Officio Member
    • Representative Rick Rand, Non-Voting Ex Officio Member
    • Representative Jim Wayne, Non-Voting Ex Officio Member
    • Representative Bill Farmer, Non-Voting Ex Officio Member


Click here to view the official copy on file with the Secretary of State.