The key to maintaining a strong voice in Frankfort for the benefit of Kentucky citizens and businesses
October 26, 2020
In a recent KyCPAs Behind the Numbers podcast, KyCPA Government Affairs Director, Shelby Williams and Alan Long, CPA, KyCPA Political Action Committee (PAC) chair shared why members should donate to the KyCPA-PAC and why this year is so critical to maintaining a strong voice in Frankfort. Below are highlights from the podcast.
You may listen to the entire podcast interview here:
Why contribute to the KyCPA-PAC?
The PAC helps us build and maintain relationships with lawmakers in Frankfort and encourages them to utilize KyCPA as a resource to help with tax policy for the benefit of Kentucky citizens and businesses.
“This is not just a profession driven situation because we, a lot of what we do is tax policy and those kinds of things, which benefit all the citizens of Kentucky, not just the KyCPA members.” - Alan Long
The Committee reviews funds and decides where to allocate the funds and which candidates KyCPA will support. The KyCPA-PAC supports candidates on both sides for the Senate, the House and for statewide races.
“We are really looking for candidates that support the CPA profession and create a good business climate in Kentucky.” - Shelby Williams
The PAC makes it possible for KyCPA to build relationships with legislators and maintain those relationships by attending events and fundraisers where multiple candidates are in attendance. This helps KyCPA be successful in Frankfort during the session and throughout the year.
When COVID-19 hit the U.S. in the middle of the last session, access to legislators was limited to phone calls, emails and zoom. The strong relationships previously built with legislators allowed KyCPA to continue successful lobbying efforts and to make a real impact. KyCPA was able to get the tax filing deadlines extended, interest and penalties waived and made sure the CPA profession was protected throughout the session.
“I think it’s very important that we all come together and that we give money to the PAC because we, as a group, can influence a lot more than people can as an individual.”- Alan Long
Why this year is so critical to have a voice in Frankfort?
All of the House and a third of the Senate are up for re-election this November. It is critical that we support the legislators that have worked with us in the past and supported the profession. Additionally, next year the General Assembly will be passing a budget during a short session. Last session was a budget year and usually, the General Assembly will pass a two-year budget during that time. With everything that was happening with COVID-19, they only passed a one year budget and are going to be tackling a budget in the upcoming session and trying to make up for the revenue deficit that many are predicting.
“Somebody is always going to get a little bit of a hit when we start talking about raising revenues, but that’s going to be very important that we get in front of those legislators with regard to that because I know that they’re going to have to be looking for revenues with regard to what’s going on with this COVID crisis.” - Alan Long
Support from KyCPA members and a strong PAC going into the session is important to make sure that KyCPA can continue strong relationships with legislators that have supported the CPA profession and make sure they understand tax policy. Tax policy is very dense and it takes legislators that have some background and history, that will work with or have worked with the Society and supported CPAs, to understand the importance of this legislation.
“We need to be able to get in front of those legislators, use our past relationships with those so that we don’t come up with some bad tax policy that will affect not only our clients but the business community and everyone as a whole in the state. “- Alan Long
What were the big wins from KyCPA legislative efforts this past session?
- CPAs were deemed essential by the Governor's office in March when the COVID-19 crisis hit and were able to continue to work in the office and take care of clients.
- Getting the Kentucky tax deadlines extended to match the federal changes.
- Getting interest and penalties waived for Kentucky taxpayers, which helped CPAs and their clients during the COVID-19 crisis.
KyCPA is an important resource for legislators in Frankfort and they value what KyCPA brings to the table. Legislators communicated with KyCPA members during the COVID-19 crisis because of the KyCPA-PAC and previous advocacy efforts.
“One takeaway is a lot of our members were reaching out to us during session talking about the importance of getting these things passed. We were successful in many ways and I think it's just, you know, tying it all back to the PAC.” - Shelby Williams
How can I contribute to the KyCPA-PAC?
Any donation is helpful. You can support the KyCPA-PAC in two ways:
An individual contribution can be made online at kycpa.org/advocacy/pac or by personal check made payable to KyCPA-PAC, 1735 Alliant Ave., Louisville, KY 40299. Individuals are limited to an annual $1,500 contribution to the KyCPA-PAC.
If your firm or company has its own PAC, it can contribute to the KyCPA-PAC. Like individuals, PACs are limited to an annual $1,500 contribution.
KyCPA cannot accept firm or corporate contributions, including those made by pass-through entities.
If you have any questions, contact Shelby Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.266.5272/800.292.1754.