Op-Ed from State Treasurer Allison Ball
As Kentucky State Treasurer, I am keenly aware of Kentucky’s economic pulse since my office balances the Commonwealth’s many checkbooks and is in charge of Kentucky’s funds.
From this vantage point, I know that we need tax reform to increase Kentucky’s economic growth and for greater middle-class prosperity throughout the Commonwealth. While the leadership in the Commonwealth wrestles with our own tax code, those in the federal government are making decisions on tax reform that will greatly impact Kentuckians.
As Congress pursues tax reform, the prosperity of middle class Americans must be the top priority. Currently, these families face high tax rates that limit their ability to purchase homes or pay for their children’s educations. Congress should simplify the tax code with a straightforward system that includes lower rates so middle class families will have more money in their pockets.
For many middle class families, education is the first step to personal prosperity. Congress should remain mindful of the tools used by Kentucky families to lessen the burden of expenses such as college tuition. As a member of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) Board and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC) Board, which are organizations designed to give Kentuckians greater access to college and technical schools, I have seen first-hand that many families rely on student loans to manage the costs of college. KHESLC accesses tax-exempt qualified student loan bonds to provide low interest rates, low origination fees, and low monthly payments. They help Kentucky’s middle class families lessen the burden of student loans.
The key to our economic prosperity, however, is to increase job opportunities for Kentucky working families. That means tax reform must target Kentucky businesses and create a friendly tax climate in which Kentucky’s businesses and employers can thrive. When Kentucky employers do well, our economy does well. Our middle class families will feel the benefits of tax reform first-hand by receiving good paying salaries, pay raises, and increased job opportunities.
As Kentucky State Treasurer, I urge Congress to remember that tax reform is necessary for the economic growth and middle class prosperity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.