May 3, 2012
Contact: Michele Sparks, Director of Communications (859) 257-0040
For Immediate Release
UK Experts to Assist State Tax Reform Task Force
Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the selection of a consultant team including two renowned experts from the University of Kentucky to assist his 23-member tax reform commission in studying how to better align the state’s tax code. The Governor’s Office has awarded the contract for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform to the three-person team of William Hoyt and Michael Childress of UK, and William Fox of the University of Tennessee.
“These consultants bring a wealth of expertise to the commission’s goal of improving our tax code with the principles of fairness, business competitiveness and a 21st Century economy,” Gov. Beshear said. “William Hoyt and Michael Childress have remarkable track records in this area, and William Fox is another premiere expert with a broad range of knowledge on this subject.”
Hoyt, a longtime economics professor at UK, is the director of the university's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. Childress is with the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics and previously served as executive director of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center. Fox is a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee and the director of UT's Center for Business and Economic Research. He has served as a consultant on finance, taxation, and economic development in a number of states and developing countries.
Chaired by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform began its work earlier this year. The next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.
“I am excited to work with this consultant team and have them at our meetings to evaluate Kentucky’s tax code as measured by the principles of fairness, competitiveness, simplicity and compliance, elasticity and adequacy,” Abramson said. “They are a key component to our success.”
The consultant team is tasked with evaluating and summarizing numerous areas of Kentucky’s tax system, as well as reviewing major tax reform efforts in competitor states and how those states addressed the particular principles the Kentucky commission has been instructed to uphold.
The team will also be asked to review and summarize the current burdens of taxation and compare the respective burden on individuals and corporations to competitor states, while evaluating the responsiveness of Kentucky’s tax code to changes in the economy.
"It is an honor to be asked to serve in this role," Hoyt said. "We look forward to working with the commission and assisting them with this important effort."
Chris Bollinger, director of CBER and professor of economics at UK, added, "We are very proud that Bill Hoyt and Mike Childress were chosen as consultants for the state tax reform commission. They both have a wealth of experience and strong research backgrounds in this area."
The consultant team will deliver a report to the commission by Aug. 31 and will assist the commission in drafting its report to the governor by Nov. 15, Abramson said.
The commission is scheduled to hold several more meetings throughout the state this year. These meetings are scheduled in Frankfort, Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville, Covington, Prestonsburg and Lexington. A complete list of dates and times is available on the website. Citizens can offer comments through online forms or request to make presentations at the upcoming commission meetings.