Jim Wayne

Budget Moves to Senate

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March 8, 2012

The State House yesterday passed Beshear’s budget. The H-L:

The House version of the budget makes few changes to Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget, which was introduced in January.

Calling the budget “inadequate” to meet Kentucky’s needs, Beshear’s budget included 8.4 percent cuts to many agencies, a 6.4 percent cut to higher education and a 4.5 percent cut to many areas of K-12 education. The main funding formula for Kentucky schools was not cut, but it is still about $50 million short because of a miscalculation of the projected student population.

It passed easily, save one. The C-J:

The only member who spoke strongly against the spending cuts was the only Democrat who voted against the bill, Rep. Jim Wayne, of Louisville.

Wayne, an advocate for raising revenue by tax reform, said the cuts — coming on the heels of two prior budgets with deep reductions — amounts to a tax increase on the elderly on waiting lists for in-home services, on university students who are sure to see big increases in their tuition and on teachers and state workers who face two more years without pay raises.

“We continue to be in denial,” Wayne said. “… I cast a dissenting vote to say the system is broken.”

Do Something: ‘Kentucky Forward Revenue Plan’

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January 18, 2012

Today is Kentuckians for the Commonwealth’s “ECONOMIC JUSTICE LOBBY DAY” in Frankfort. If you’re not headed to the capital to join them (8:30A to 2:30P, details here), you can still help lobby our dear leaders:

Call your legislators

If you can’t come to Frankfort, call the legislative message line (1-800-372-7181) and leave a message for your representative and senator, as well as House Leadership. Here’s a suggested message:

“My name is ____ and I live in _____ County. I want to see a better quality of life in Kentucky, and the time is now for the legislature to make it possible. I urge you to support HB 127, the Kentucky Forward Revenue Plan.”


Write a letter to the editor

You can also write a letter to the editor of your local paper this week. Here’s one way to think about the story that you want to tell:

- I live in _________ County and I’m _______. [Are you a parent? A student? A teacher? Someone who’s concerned about our water quality? Someone looking for a job?]

- I want to see __________. [Name the good things you want to see in your life and your community…Things that we all want, right?]

- But right now_______. [What’s standing in the way? What do you see instead?]

- That’s why, this session, I’m asking ________[your legislator's name] to support HB 127, the Kentucky Forward Revenue Plan sponsored by Rep. Wayne.

- This bill would raise $330 million a year that we could invest in ______________ [How does this bill work toward your vision?], while making the tax structure fairer by lowering taxes for Kentucky’s low- and middle-income families.

- Kentuckians deserve a better quality of life, and we can get there with HB 127.

You can read the text of the bill here, but you could also peruse KFTC’s quick overview:

What the Kentucky Forward Plan would do:

Restore our estate tax

We want to stop giving tax breaks to those who don’t need them by reinstating the state estate tax. This tax excludes farms, and would only apply to those who have more than $1 million in assets, like trust funds and other inheritances. It’s not fair to give the wealthy yet another tax cut and leave everyone else behind.

Modernize our income tax

Our income tax rates are from the 1950s. This bill would replace our deductions and old rates with a stair-stepped rate structure that modestly increases with income. For the lower-income 60% of us, these changes would, on average, lower our state income tax.

Reform our sales tax

Other states tax luxury services like limo rides, armored car services, and private golf club fees. Kentucky does not tax these services. We can bring our tax structure up-to-date by closing the exemptions for luxury services.

Lower taxes for many working families with a 15% state Earned Income Tax Credit

An EITC for working parents of families earning up to about $40,000 would put more than $100 million a year back into the pockets of those working families.

Rep. Jim Wayne offers actual solutions (which will of course be ignored by Frankfort)

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February 4, 2011

KY House Rep. Jim Wayne, showing why he’s one of the only people in Frankfort that can compete with Kathy Stein:

FRANKFORT — A Louisville lawmaker has filed legislation this week that will overhaul the state’s tax system by cutting taxes for the state’s poorest residents, increasing income taxes on its wealthiest and expanding sales taxes to some services.

Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, and sponsor of House Bill 318, said one independent think tank has estimated that the tweaks he is proposing would generate approximately $480 million in additional revenue. An official cost estimate by legislative staff on the bill has not yet been completed, Wayne cautioned.


“It should be equitable, it should be buoyant, it should be flexible and it should grow with the economy,” Wayne said of the state’s tax system.


“It’s a much more progressive tax system,” Wayne said of his proposal. “As the economy expands, the revenue expands.”

The bill makes a lot of sense, which of course means that it won’t ever see the light of day in the wretched coal slurry pond that is known as Frankfort, KY.

More from LEO, here.




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