KEEP Renews Push for Tax-Equity Legislation

The Kentucky Equine Education Project recently announced a renewed push for legislation that would remove the sales tax on equine feed and supplies in Kentucky.

“This is a continuation of what KEEP has done in the past, and we thought it was important to communicate with our grassroots network and our membership of more than 10,000 people,” said Patrick Neely, executive director of KEEP. “Obviously, this is an issue that affects horse owners throughout the state. We think it is an equity issue--it’s obviously not equitable for a horse owner to pay sales tax on feed when the owners of all other agricultural animals are not paying sales tax on feed for their animals.”

A similar bill was filed during the 2006 session and received more than 31 additional co-sponsors in support. The bill, however, didn’t make it out of committee for a vote. Neely and the bill’s sponsors are hoping there will be a hearing on the legislation during the current session.

“I feel like the industry will continue to grow in spite of it, but I think it will grow even faster if it’s more feasible for people to own horses,” said Rep. Royce Adams, one of the bill’s sponsors who is affected personally by the issue as the breeder of several Morgan Horses. Adams predicted that if the legislation doesn’t make it through this session, it will be on the forefront of the budget session in 2008.

KEEP has sent out letters to all of its members encouraging them to call their legislators and voice their support for the removal of the tax.

“If we do get a hearing, we’ll gather individuals to testify and be there in Frankfort in support of the bill,” Neely said. “We appreciate the work of the sponsors of the bill for recognizing what we view as a tax inequity, and putting their influence behind getting this change.”

Adams said Rep. Harry Moberly, chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, had estimated an $8-million loss without the tax, which would need to be made up elsewhere.

“I’m trying to promote (the bill) from the idea of how important the horse industry is to our economy,” Adams said. “If we don’t get the revenue here, we’ll get it somewhere else.”