Gov. Beshear Signs Tax Cut Despite Concerns

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, is signing Republican’s top priority bill that tax would reduce the income tax from 4.5 percent to 4 percent beginning next year.

Despite his concerns of long-term repercussions, and a veto of similar legislation last year, Beshear said he was signing the bill into law to give some relief to Kentuckians who face higher gas and grocery bills because of inflation.

“The best way to supply that relief would have been a reduction in the sales tax… for a certain period of time,” he said, adding that is not the direction Republican super majorities in the legislature decided to act.

The Republican Party of Kentucky said Beshear’s signing of the bill was just the “latest example of Beshear taking credit for Republican policies after having previously vetoed them.

“Last year, Andy Beshear vetoed the process which makes today’s Republican tax cut possible. He has spent countless hours attacking Republicans for this policy approach and left the members of his own party out to dry on it,” RPK spokesman Sean Southard said. “What’s different between last year and this one? There’s an election this November. From his mishandling of our unemployment system, our Department of Juvenile Justice, his Team Kentucky Slush Fund, and the learning loss of our children, Andy knows he’s vulnerable to whoever wins the Republican primary for Governor. It is a blatant political move and Kentuckians will see through it.”

Democratic House leadership said they favored tax-cut proposals that would have “benefited Kentuckians more quickly.”

“Last year, our caucus favored two other tax-cut proposals that would have benefited more Kentuckians more quickly, with one temporarily lowering the sales tax and the other issuing rebate checks,” Kentucky House Democratic Caucus Leader Derrick Graham, Cherlynn Stevenson, and Rachel Roberts said in a statement. “We still think those are much better options, and neither would have put a permanent hole in state spending for schools, public safety, and critical health and human services.

“We look forward to working with Governor Beshear in his second term to restore better balance to our tax system.”

Beshear is seeking a second term in office this year. Twelve Republicans are seeking to earn their party’s nomination to challenge him.