Local News

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

As expected, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will seek a cigarette tax increase as part of his budget-balancing plan.

With the state facing a 456-million dollar revenue shortfall, Governor Beshear wants to raise the cigarette tax from 30-cents to one dollar per pack. But he says it would be April before the tax could start generating revenue.

“We wouldn’t have a full year’s source of revenue there,” says Beshear. “It would produce, we estimate about 81-point-five million dollars.”

The governor’s plan also includes 147-million dollars in cuts, use of the Rainy Day Fund and possible worker furloughs. It would not cut basic school funding, healthcare and public safety. Higher education would be cut two-percent. Most other state agencies would see four-percent cuts.

The governor will hold town hall meetings on his plan in Henderson, Ashland, Dry Ridge and Hazard.