Transparency in Tax Is Trending in Kentucky:

A Look Inside the Most Recent Open Records Win

February 20, 2015 By Jennifer Barber
Bloomberg BNA

In a recent opinion and order, yet another Kentucky court ruled in favor of transparency in tax. This case follows a line of cases where Kentucky courts have ruled that disclosure is required unless one of 14 exceptions to the Open Records Act applies.

On Aug. 7, 2012, state tax practitioner Mark F. Sommer filed an Open Records Request with the Kentucky Department of Revenue requesting certain case pleadings put in the public record in a property tax case styled Insight Ky. Partners II, L.P. v. Commonwealth , Civil Action No. 01-CI-01528 (Ky. Cir. Ct.). Sommer was unable to obtain the pleadings through the court system.

Revenue responded, denying inspection of the documents. The tax agency didn't cite to any of the statutorily provided exceptions to the Open Records Act, but rather denied Sommer's request on the basis that the publicly filed case pleadings are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts and aren't subject to statutory regulation, including the Open Records Act. Revenue, however, didn't deny having the documents within its physical possession and control.

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