Kentucky taxpayers to potentially receive rebates

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The Kentucky House chambers. Photo by Mark Payne | LINK nky

Northern Kentucky Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) announced a Senate taxpayer relief measure that will potentially see families across the state receive tax rebates due to the rising cost of inflation. 

Here are the details of the rebate: 

-To combat inflation, Kentucky residents will potentially receive rebates from the previous tax year. (Not the 2021 tax year).

-Single resident rebates of up to $500.

-Joint filers can get up to $1,000.

-Refunds will be received by the end of the summer if the bill is signed into law. 

-It will cost $1.15billion and leave roughly $1 billion in the General Fund for the year.

The bill passed the meeting and will head to the Senate floor. It will also need to go through the House before hitting the governor’s desk and potentially being signed into law. 

“Across the commonwealth and across the nation, there’s a pretty big problem right now,” McDaniel said. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that our inflation rate is at a 40-year-high of 7.5 percent. For the average family, that means their costs for their households, not changing anything, will go up roughly $267 per month, just for the essentials.” 

Initially listed as a “shell” bill 194 on the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee agenda, the Senate kept the details of the measure quiet until Thursday morning. When reading the committee sub, McDaniel announced the details of the tax rebate. McDaniel chairs the A&R committee and was listed as the bill’s primary sponsor. 

Both the upper and lower chambers of the General Assembly have mentioned giving taxpayers some of the massive amounts of federal money that has poured into the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. This seems to be that measure. But, Republicans say it’s because of the budgeting efforts by the General Assembly. 

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“This extra money is in part because of the General Assembly’s frugal budgeting the last couple of years,” said Sen. Michael Nemes (R–Shepherdsville). “Some want us to spend money on ways we think the state needs … but I’m glad we’re giving it back to the people that paid for it.” 

The American Rescue Plan Act has poured roughly $3.77 billion into Kentucky. Approximately $867.8 million has gone to Kentucky counties as part of this funding, with $931 million going to Kentucky cities. 

The Senate announced the rebate is possible due to conservative budgeting, with significant revenue expected to produce over $1.94 billion in funds that belong to the Kentucky taxpayers. McDaniel said that this will not affect the biennial budget that’s still working its way through the General Assembly. 

While it seems like it’s in response to the governor recently announcing his executive order to freeze the vehicle tax,Senators in the meeting noted it’s a bipartisan measure that’s expected to move through both chambers of the legislature. 

“It is a non-partisan bill,” said Donald Douglas (R-Nicholasville). “It seems that everybody thinks that everything we do here in the General Assembly is partisan. This is a non-partisan distribution in this bill. It rewards those who participated more vigorously in the workforce, and it doesn’t affect those who did not.

“Frankly, there are a lot of people who worked really, really hard for the last two years through all of this COVID issue. They spent a lot of time away from their friends, a lot of time away from their families,” Douglas said. “They’re being rewarded. They’re being rewarded for the time they spent away from their friends and their family.” 

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