The Kentucky Chamber's top priority for 2013 is to ensure that comprehensive pension reform is passed reform during the Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
The Chamber, along with a coalition of business groups have warned that each day that passes without significant changes to the system increases the chance that Kentucky employers and individuals will be targeted for significant tax increases. According to Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson, failing to act during this legislative session also continues the “short-sighted, downward spiral” of providing less money for education and economic development and more for unsustainable benefits not available to the average taxpayer.
“Kentucky’s businesses have a significant stake in our public employee pension systems – both at a state and local level,” said Adkisson. “Kentucky’s private employers, most of which are small, local businesses, directly contribute approximately 40% of all state revenue in income, corporate and sales taxes, in addition to individual income, payroll and sales taxes.”
Since 2007, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has been seeking a fix to the state’s public pension problems, citing the threat that escalating public retirement costs pose to the ability of governments to provide basic services. The Chamber highlighted the problem again in 2009 and 2011 with its Leaky Bucket Reports that identified the growing costs of Kentucky’s public employee benefits.
“Kentucky’s business community and taxpayers expect action now. If we don’t fix this pension problem in the 2013 General Assembly, we might have to rename our state. Instead of the Commonwealth of Kentucky we’ll have to call it the Common Debt of Kentucky,” said Adkisson. “We will be so far in debt it will be almost impossible to dig our way out.”