Hopes Alive For Ky. Tax

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Frankfort, Ky.-The Kentucky legislature closed March 31, but will briefly reconvene later this month for budget issues.

The reopener raises the cable industry's hopes that an excise tax on systems may yet be approved.

The tax seemed dead at the end of the regular session. The Kentucky legislature serves every two years for 60 days, but legislators realized when March 31 arrived that they had only served 58 days.

Budget issues, including a 7 percent excise tax on cable, are still outstanding. The industry supports the levy because it will replace more than 1,000 local fees. The tax average will remain the same for operators, but bookkeeping will be simplified.

A joint conference committee will determine which issues will resurface during a mini-session April 11 and 12.

"We're still hopeful that the excise tax will be in the budget plan," said Carla Blanton, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Cable Telecommunications Association. "There are lots of projects the legislators want funded, and [the excise] tax capitalizes on the growth in the telecommunications industry."

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