Chamber News

Aug 31, 2017

Chambers Host Legislative Roundtable for Rural Jobs Legislation


Representative Larry Brown (R-Prestonsburg) and Representative John Blanton (R-Salyersville) discussed efforts to bring more jobs to the region during a legislative roundtable held on August 30, 2017.

Chambers Host Legislative Roundtable for Rural Jobs Legislation

Representative Larry Brown (R-Prestonsburg) and Representative John Blanton (R-Salyersville) discussed efforts to bring more jobs to the region during a legislative roundtable held on August 30, 2017.

The event was held at the Mountain Arts Center by the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, Paintsville- Johnson County Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Blanton said, “This is an opportunity that will give us another tool in our toolbox to recruit industries to come into Eastern Kentucky, and it’s specifically for rural counties, and that’s why it’s so vitally important.” Brown and Blanton partnered with representatives Chris Harris (D-Forest Hills), Tim Couch (R-Hyden) and Scott Wells (R-West Liberty) to sponsor the Kentucky Rural Jobs Act during the last legislative session and will reintroduce the bill this year during the regular session.

Information provided to the attendees indicated that the 2018 bill could bring $100 million in private capital investments for small businesses in rural areas of the state in the first two years of implementation. It would focus on providing funding for manufacturing, agribusiness, tech firms, medical services, fabrication, food processing and other industries that could boost Eastern Kentucky’s economy.

 The bill, molded after similar legislation in other states, will give tax credits to encourage businesses to invest in rural Kentucky counties. The funds will come via credits against the state’s insurance premium tax and the franchise tax, and credits will be delayed until 2021.

The maximum amount of tax credits allowed on the bill would be $60 million - or, $15 million annually from 2021 through 2024.

Participating businesses would be required to obtain federal and state licensing and/or approval and an applicant seeking funding must “demonstrate revenue positive impact,” as outlined in the document.

If interested in additional information on the Kentucky Rural Jobs Act, please contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the Legislative Research Commission in Frankfort.