Tax Relief

Kentucky Wired, literacy, automobile tax relief payments transfer ahead — The Bluegrass Institute for Public Coverage Options

Due to weather conditions, the fifth week of the 2022 legislative session wrapped up early Thursday afternoon so lawmakers could make it home safely before this week’s ice storm hit Frankfort. Still, quite a bit was accomplished.

A House companion bill to Senate Bill 9 passed the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee and is scheduled for a full House vote on Monday. This bipartisan bill, sponsored primarily by Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, and Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville, provides around $30 million in funding to improve how teachers approach reading instruction by emphasizing “phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary , comprehension, and connections between reading and 11 writing acquisition, and motivation to read.” Bojanowski, a Jefferson County teacher, says the bill is an important professional development enhancement for teachers and will ensure interventions are in place to support children not proficient in reading. The Bluegrass Institute has done extensive research affirming this type of approach which was the focus of our most recent education Policy Point.

Passing out of the House Small Business and Information Technology Committee this week was a Kentucky Wired bill sponsored by committee chair Rep. Phillip Pratt, R-Georgetown. According to Pratt, the bill holds Kentucky Wired and its subsidiaries to their promise to build an internet backbone to help reach the unerved and underserved without competing with private telecom businesses. Kentucky Wired’s cherry-picking and targeting of private telecom providers’ best customers is an issue that BIPPS CEO Jim Waters has continually highlighted and criticized.

House Bill 6, which is scheduled to have a full vote on the House floor Monday, would provide some relief to taxpayers when paying yearly vehicle taxes. Due to parts shortages, current car values ​​— and the taxes levied on those values ​​— are vastly inflated. This legislation would change the Kentucky Department of Revenue’s definition of car value to the “average trade-in” value instead of the “clean trade-in” value which doesn’t consider the actual condition of vehicles. On the Senate side, Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, has filed a bill with a similar aim by requiring the state to use 2021 car value estimations. That bill has yet to move.

Also of note is a parental rights bill heading to the house floor. The legislation reaffirms the importance of parental rights and prohibits governmental efforts that restrict or interfere with those rights.

The legislative update is comprised by Sarah May Durand, director of government affairs for the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions. You can be reached at sarahmaydurand@freedomkentucky.com.

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