Sunday, March 30, 2003

Patton wants to talk about tax-bill veto

Governor invites state business leaders to mansion

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Gov. Paul Patton will hear arguments from state business leaders about why he should not veto a bill that would give some Kentucky companies tax relief from a court ruling.

At issue is part of House Bill 390, which would restore part of the corporation license-tax break that the Franklin Circuit Court ruling in December took from Kentucky companies that have state subsidiaries.

Business interests lobbied strongly for the tax break in the legislative session's final weeks, and it was passed on the final day as an amendment to a bill closing loopholes in the national tobacco settlement.

Patton said he sympathizes with the problem faced by the business community but is inclined to veto the measure so the issue can be addressed in a review of declining tax revenues from businesses. Because the legislative session is over, there would be no opportunity to override a Patton veto.

Patton has invited business leaders to discuss the matter with him Monday during a private meeting at the Governor's Mansion.

In the invitation, Patton repeated that he prefers delaying a solution to the court ruling until a special session, when lawmakers can consider closing what he called "loopholes" in Kentucky's corporate tax code.

"With that said, I am willing to discuss this issue with an open mind," he wrote.

Jeff Allen, director of legislative research for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, said about 30 executives of Kentucky corporations plan to attend the meeting.

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