Gov. Bevin moving forward with special session

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin intends to stick to his promise of tackling tax reform this calendar year, despite some in his own party privately voicing concern about timing.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin intends to stick to his promise of tackling tax reform this calendar year despite some in his own party privately voicing concern about timing.

Early this year Governor Matt Bevin promised a special session is coming to tackle tax reform. At the time, he promised it would come with a tough decision.

Today the Governor, told WHAS11 he intends to move forward even as some privately question the timing.

"Oh we're going to make changes not only to our pension system but to our tax system absolutely we do not have an alternative so it will happen,” Gov. Bevin said.

Political Editor Chris Williams caught up with Gov. Bevin at a series of ceremonial signings.

He said his team is making progress but there are many moving parts and groups involved so it takes time. He's confident lawmakers will gather for a special session and modernize the tax code before year's end.

Privately, some Republicans have voiced concern about holding that session before January and next year's filing deadline for primary election candidates.

Considering that the GOP just regained control of the Kentucky House for the first time in a century and many promised not to raise taxes, Williams asked the governor whether he was concerned.

Bevin responded saying he wasn't a proponent of raising taxes, "If we simply aligned our tax base and stopped exempting things, you can spin that however you want, is that a raise or just stop exempting things we shouldn't exempt. The fact of the matter is, I want to see our tax rates go down."

The governor also responded to the concern some have voiced in private, Republicans worried how changes seen as a potential tax increase might impact primary elections. 

"With respect to people who make decisions purely for political reasons, we need to perhaps get different people in Frankfort. If their number one focus is in getting reelected those are not the kind of serious-minded folks that we need focused on this issue. Pension reform and tax reform have got to be addressed. And yet, it is also a reality and I understand that and I want to be respectful of that, so I'm working with our legislators and we will get this done. But there is no good time to address this,” Gov. Bevin said.

The governor pointed to 30 years of study with no action for leading to this moment. He suggested that modernizing the tax code would not be a one-time event and that lawmakers would likely need to revisit the topic in future years. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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