Sunday, September 19, 2021

Play

Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.

Play

Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Critics Say Austerity Budget Boosts Big Businesses, Sidelines KY Families

Play

Monday, March 22, 2021   

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- As state lawmakers consider a slew of major last-minute tax breaks, their critics say the moves may benefit large industries and businesses, but would do little for Kentucky families.

Pam Thomas, senior fellow at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said tax relief moving through the Legislature includes breaks for the film industry, telecommunications and insurance companies, and for private school or educational vouchers, among others.

She explained the proliferation of tax breaks reduces the money the Commonwealth has for schools, healthcare, infrastructure and other vital public investments.

"There's no new money for education, there's no new money for school social workers, there's no new money really for anything," Thomas outlined.

Lawmakers have already passed House Bill 278, which would give an income-tax deduction to the
more than 50,000 Kentucky businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Thomas pointed out the break will likely only be helpful to businesses that were profitable in the crisis, not those that struggled to stay afloat and need the most assistance.

It's estimated the legislation could cost the state $240 million.

Thomas emphasized Kentucky's economy has sustained the pandemic better than economists thought it would, and noted the state budget has revenue above initial estimates.

But rather than taking that revenue and using it to invest in communities, she stressed lawmakers are focused on shrinking government spending.

"So, it seems that in part, the focus has been more on supporting, sustaining and helping businesses, less on supporting sustaining and helping individuals," Thomas asserted.

Thomas added more tax cuts will likely force Kentucky to give back the COVID-relief money it receives from the federal government.

"We don't have guidance yet from Treasury on exactly how that's going to be implemented, but right now is a very risky time for states to be passing tax credits, since we don't have that guidance," Thomas cautioned.

The American Rescue Plan gives the Commonwealth more than $2 billion in direct aid, but has a strict provision against the funds being used, directly or indirectly, to pay for tax cuts.

Disclosure: Kentucky Center for Economic Policy contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Criminal Justice, Education, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, cover-crop acres in the United States have increased to 10 million. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …


Social Issues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …

Social Issues

By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …


According to a letter from academics and scientists urging global climate action, air pollution caused by climate change was responsible for one in five deaths worldwide in 2018. (Craig/Adobe Stock)

Environment

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - One out of every three people incarcerated in the United States has contracted COVID-19, and a new report shows how state …

Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021