FRANKFORT — The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee discussed a significant measure to attract capital to eastern Kentucky on Tuesday.
House Bill 399, sponsored by Reps. John Blanton, R-Salyersville, and Larry Brown, R-Prestonsburg, establishes the Rural Growth Fund Tax Credit Program to stimulate business development in rural areas.
“Businesses in rural areas of the state, especially eastern Kentucky, have found it difficult to attract the necessary capital to make investments that would stimulate their economy,” said Rep. John Blanton. “The General Assembly must provide all the help and resources available to our rural communities. The Rural Growth Fund Tax Credit Program will help to attract investors to rural areas who promote the retention and expansion of existing jobs, while stimulating the creation of new jobs for eastern Kentuckians.”
While Kentucky is seeing the start of the coal industry’s resurrection, eastern Kentucky’s economy has been devastated by the significant loss of jobs over the last eight years. The General Assembly has already taken momentous steps this session to ensure Kentucky is open for business. House Bill 399 will specifically help private businesses create high-paying jobs for residents of rural areas, while promoting growth in communities that have seen a devastating loss of jobs through the war on coal.
“With pro-coal leaders at the helm of both our state and federal government, we are beginning to see our miners get back to work,” said Rep. Larry Brown. “However, it is imperative that we continue working to diversify eastern Kentucky’s economic portfolio. House Bill 399 takes a significant step toward that diversification, allowing our rural communities to attract much needed investment capital. This is a genuine piece of legislation that will get eastern Kentuckians back to work.”
As time runs out on the Regular Session, House Bill 399 might have to continue through the legislative process during a special session later this year. During the interim, Reps. Blanton and Brown will continue working to mold the legislation so that it provides the greatest impact for eastern Kentucky.