Kentucky Judge Orders Finance Cabinet to Release Tax Assessments

September 8, 2014 By Jonathan Meador
WKMS Public Radio

For the first time, a Frankfort judge is forcing the state to release information on how it assesses taxes on individuals and businesses. 

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd wrote in an Aug. 26 opinion that the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet must release 700 tax assessments to discern “whether the Department has been fair and consistent or whether it has displayed political favoritism to some taxpayers over others."

The cabinet fought the suit, which was originally brought by Louisville tax attorney Mark Sommer in 2012, claiming the assessments are exempt from state open records laws due to taxpayer privacy concerns. But Sommer says that the ruling will finally shed light on how the state interprets its often ambiguous tax laws.

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