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Another Kentucky income tax reduction reduction not in the cards for now, according to state budget director

Josh James

Kentucky’s income tax won’t be coming down in the short term. The commonwealth's top number-cruncher reported Thursday that the threshold hasn’t been met to trigger another reduction.

Kentucky’s GOP-dominated legislature has made it clear they want to see the state’s income tax lowered, if not eliminated. But rather than do away with the tax, legislators opted for a more cautious approach – only dropping the rate if certain fiscal triggers are met.

Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday, for now, the data don’t permit further cuts.

"The numbers of where our economy is right now do not meet the thresholds that the legislators themselves set in statute," the Democrat said.

That’s the official word from State Budget Director John Hicks.

In a statement, Senate Budget Chair Chris McDaniel, a Republican, said the income tax legislation is “working precisely as intended,” adding that reductions in 2023 and 2024 will have saved taxpayers about $1.8 billion.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron has said he wants to see the income tax scrapped as soon as possible to increase the state’s competitiveness. Beshear has warned a complete elimination would either require a "massive sales tax increase" or the "gutting of K-12 education."

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.