Chamber Hears State Rep, Mayor Candidates
By Donna Groves
PADUCAH, KY - Candidates for 3rd District State Representative, Paducah Mayor and City Commissioner addressed the Paducah Chamber of Commerce Power in Partnership Breakfast Thursday morning.
Two candidates competiting for the seat being vacated by State Rep. Brent Housman spoke on several issues including taxes. Republican Jason Crockett and Democrat Gerald Watkins were asked what tax reforms they would advocate.
"The first thing is that we need to do is to lower our corporate tax rate in Kentucky," Crockett said, saying that would likely lead to more investments and therefore more receipts.
"I would favor abolishing the state income tax and moving more to sales taxes to generate revenue," Watkins said.
Asked his opinion on Watkins' suggestion, Crockett said he too would favor the idea of abolishing the state income tax.
Mayoral candidate Gayle Kaler said she supports the idea of merging the city and county governments, while Rene Raney, who is running as a write-in, said she does not.
"I feel if the merger goes through, people are going to lose their jobs and taxes are going to go up. And it's not going to go up after five years. Whoever gets that seat has the opportunity to raise taxes whenever they feel like it." Raney said.
Kaler said the city continues to prepare for the day when the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant closes. "You have to always keep looking for a solution," Kaler said.
"That would be a tough one," Raney said, "because if USEC went away there would be trillions of jobs lost and families left with no income and no way to provide for their children or their families."
Podcasts of Watkins/Crockett, Kaler/Raney and the city commission candidates can be heard by clicking on the links below.
On the Net: Candidate Forum Part 1 - City Commission CandidatesCandidate Forum Part 2 - Mayoral CandidatesCandidate Forum Part 3 - State Rep. Candidates