The short length of the 2007 General Assembly session in Kentucky may be the biggest hurdle tax relief for the horse industry will face. Additionally, there is a gubernatorial election, and during off year sessions, tax issues must be passed with a two-thirds supermajority.
Although the timing issues may make it difficult for tax equity to pass, Sen. Damon Thayer supports the legislation, which will also be the focus of the Kentucky Equine Education Project.
"I think the momentum is in our favor," Thayer said. "Whether we can get in done in an off year, 30-day session remains to be seen, but we need to keep it on the front burner and keep pushing for it."
Tax equity for the horse industry would ideally include the following: elimination of tax on things such as feed and fencing for horses, money for the second phase of expansion at the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center in Lexington, elimination of the daily racetrack assessments that are scheduled to kick in again in July 2007, and elimination of the 6% tax on anyone who claims a horse in the state.
Tax and revenue bills are required to begin in the House, and tax equity will most likely be introduced by Reps. Susan Westrom and Royce Adams. However, Westrom said she felt that due to the short session and necessary percentage of approval, tax equity most likely would not get passed in the next session.
"Rep. Adams and I may just go ahead and file the bill just for educational purposes," Westrom said. "We want to keep that issue out in the public arena so there can be discussions just because of the importance of the topic."