Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
October 5th, 2018 • News

October 05, 2018

  • Three…two…one
  • From the beautiful and busy hallways of your historic state Capitol, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
  • I serve on a legislative panel with a tongue twister of a name. It’s the Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force.
  • It’s appropriate that it has a difficult name to pronounce, because it turns out that the goals of the committee are going to be difficult to achieve, if not downright impossible.
  • The task force was created during the 2017 legislative session, when we lowered income taxes for low-income families by about $50 million a year and for veterans by about $13 million a year.
  • Those tax cuts came on the heels of $100 million a year in income tax reductions for middle class families that we approved in 2015. We also reduced capital gains taxes.
  • However, some wanted even lower income taxes for the wealthy, which would mean cuts in services such as health care, education or law enforcement.
  • For more than a year, the task force has been looking at ways to make our tax structure more fair, and more competitive. It has looked at repealing tax exemptions and credits, but the problem is that repealing someone’s tax exemption is the same thing as raising their taxes.
  • A suggestion to repeal the sales tax exemption for groceries was a non-starter, because few lawmakers want to raise taxes on food. A similar issue flared up again last week, when it was suggested that we repeal tax credits used by the insurance industry.
  • Insurance companies quickly responded by saying a repeal of the tax credits would force them to raise premiums paid by consumers.
  • Tax cuts help people, and they benefit the economy. That happened with the income tax reductions we approved for middle class and lower-income families, who now have more spending power.
  • It would be unwise and unfair to suddenly take away those tax cuts, by forcing families to pay higher prices for insurance or groceries. It would be especially unfair if the reason was to pave the way for even more tax cuts for the rich.
  • The solution to this problem is not difficult. If you want $400 million in tax cuts, simply phase them in over a ten-year period, reducing taxes by $40 million each year.
  • Economic growth will make up for any revenue loss, and we won’t have to cut vital services. All that’s needed is a little patience, and confidence in our economy.
  • From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.
      Click to Listen - Audio Recording from October 05, 2018