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Stumbo: Tax Commission Needs 'Courage' to Make Bold, New Proposals

The Kentucky House speaker said the commission charged with proposing changes to Kentucky's tax code is "backing away" from controversial issues.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a recent interview that the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform needs to be bolder. He said the appointed commissioners are approaching the tax code issues as if they have political capital to lose, refusing to offer new ideas.He also encouraged the commission memebers to spend their remaining time productively.“I think the commission, the task force, needs to take its job seriously," said Stumbo, a Democrat from Prestonburg. "If they are shying away from certain controversial areas, it probably means they don’t have the courage to address those issues."Stumbo said the makeup of the commission -- led by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson -- is designed for non-political decisions, but yet commissioners are acting like elected officials. “What I see them doing is backing away from the tough issues and there’s no reason for them to do that. I mean politically, they’re supposed to be operating in a void, where politics or things don’t come into play when they make these recommendation,” Stumbo said.Stumbo said if the commission fills its report full of old ideas, the report is likely to meet the same fate as previous reports -- it will  largely be ignored by lawmakers.The commission next meets on Monday in Frankfort.