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Gov. Beshear vetoes bills revamping taxes, tightening benefit rules

Andy Beshear
Posted at 4:53 PM, Apr 08, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's Democratic governor on Friday vetoed bills that would revamp the tax code and tighten rules for public benefits, continuing his pushback against the Republican legislative agenda.

In his latest flurry of vetoes, Gov. Andy Beshear targeted a measure aimed at phasing out individual income taxes while extending the state sales tax to more services. He also vetoed legislation that would add new rules and restrictions to Kentucky’s public benefits system.

The GOP-dominated legislature will have a chance to override those vetoes and others when lawmakers reconvene next week for the final two days of this year’s legislative session.

Beshear criticized the tax measure, saying it would create new taxes on 35 different services and industries. He said it imposes new taxes on hybrid and electric vehicles at a time when the state is “poised to become a world leader in manufacturing those vehicles and their batteries.”

The governor warned the bill would threaten Kentucky's economic future, claiming that other states damaged their economies by drastically cutting income taxes.

Republicans immediately fired back against the veto.

“At a time when Kentuckians are facing historic inflation and the state coffers are brimming with money, Andy Beshear believes your money belongs to him,” state Republican Party spokesperson Sean Southard said. "Kentucky Republicans believe your money belongs to you.”

The tax measure sets conditions to be met to trigger incremental drops in the state’s personal income tax rate, which is now at 5%.