Kentucky House Votes to Give Relief on Vehicle Tax Bills

By BRUCE SCHREINER, Related Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Home voted Wednesday to grant aid to taxpayers hit with hefty will increase of their automobile property tax payments, brought on by a pandemic-related surge in used automobile values.

The measure cruised to Home passage on a 95-0 vote, sending it to the Senate.

The Home handed one other high-profile invoice that will ban the appliance of the demise penalty for some folks recognized with extreme psychological sicknesses. The measure, which additionally advances to the Senate, represents the most recent effort to chip away on the demise penalty in Kentucky.

The automobile tax measure would change the long-standing technique to find out a automobile’s worth. Additionally beneath the invoice, Kentuckians who already paid automobile property taxes this yr would obtain refunds for the elevated quantity.

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Final month, state officers notified county officers that 2022 general valuation for automobiles would go up about 40%. For a lot of automobile house owners, it meant a giant enhance of their tax payments.

The tax price remained the identical as earlier years, however escalating used automobile values brought on the quantity of taxes owed by some to go up, the state income division mentioned.

The worth of used automobiles soared as new vehicles turned extra scarce due to provide chain shortages brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The laws is a response to the fallout as lawmakers heard complaints from constituents.

“We’ve all obtained a whole lot of messages about this invoice,” mentioned Republican Rep. Sal Santoro, the measure’s lead sponsor. “So we’re going to attempt to repair this … drawback.”

On Tuesday, when the invoice was heard in committee, Republican Rep. Jason Petrie mentioned it could “maintain everybody innocent” towards elevated automobile value determinations and the ensuing increased tax payments.

“So in 2022, you’d pay no extra tax than you’d have paid on the 2021 invoice,” mentioned Petrie, the committee chairman.

In the meantime, the demise penalty-related invoice received Home passage on a 76-19 vote Wednesday. An identical measure cleared the Home final yr by a large margin however stalled within the Senate. Republicans have supermajorities in each chambers.

GOP Rep. Chad McCoy has mentioned key state senators had been consulted as the most recent invoice was crafted in an try and win over the Senate.

Below the brand new model, the demise penalty ban would solely apply to defendants with a documented historical past — together with a prognosis from a psychological well being skilled — of sure psychological problems. The problems embrace schizophrenia, schizoaffective dysfunction, bipolar dysfunction and delusional dysfunction.

“There may be completely no manner that people get away with committing the crime,” McCoy, the invoice’s lead sponsor, informed the Home on Wednesday. “They nonetheless go to jail for all times with out the potential of parole. All we’re doing is eradicating the demise penalty portion.”

The invoice would take away the demise penalty as a potential punishment for somebody who — on the time of the offense — had energetic signs of the psychological problems beforehand recognized by a licensed medical supplier, he mentioned.

The invoice wouldn’t apply to defendants recognized later, however not on the time of the offense, with any of the problems, McCoy mentioned just lately when the measure was reviewed in committee. Such defendants would stay eligible for the demise penalty, he mentioned.

Some demise penalty opponents have expressed frustrations with the invoice’s limitations.

Kentucky hasn’t carried out an execution since 2008 and at present has 26 inmates on demise row.

The automobile tax laws is Home Invoice 6. The demise penalty laws is Home Invoice 269.

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