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Secretary of State visits local businesses to discuss HB 366

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes visited Jessamine County Monday after urging Gov. Matt Bevin to veto the tax bill the General ssembly passed just last week.

“Kentucky needs tax reform, but it should not come at the expense of small businesses and hardworking Kentuckians,” Grimes said in a prepared statement. “With a secretive, back-door plan, Republican leaders did not deliver tax reform, they delivered tax increases that make small businesses and low- and middle-income Kentuckians bear the brunt of the tax burden.”

Grimes is speaking in reference to House Bill 366, which proposes a 6 percent tax to business services which include auto repair, dry cleaning, animal veterinary services, pet care and janitorial services.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy reports the bill represents a shift of responsibility for taxes away from wealthy individuals and corporations towards more low- to middle-income level Kentuckians.

The meeting with Grimes took place at the Jessamine Dry Cleaners, where small business owner Crystal Blackmer shared her concerns about how her business could be affected.

“Our business is already faced with increased costs to operate nearly every year,” Blacker said. “We do our best to not pass those costs on to the customer, but this tax will just represent another price increase for our faithful customers. I really hope it does not mean fewer people choosing to dry clean or possibly bringing in fewer items.”

Jimmy Estes of Jimmy Estes Auto Repair in Jessamine County also shared his concerns.

“For years, our business has operated on untaxed labor and repair,” Estes said, “Now, with a 6 percent tax on labor, it automatically means a 6 percent increase for the customer.

“It’s everyone’s dream to own their own business, but Frankfort is making it harder and harder.”