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Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

Bill Stephens

April 15th, 2022

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Envision AESC invests $2 billion for 30GWh electric battery gigafactory, creating 2,000 jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 14, 2022) – Today Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development, his released tax returns, the Kentucky Derby Festival, Easter and Derby week celebrations and vehicle property tax refunds. He also named the Capitol landscaping team as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

Envision AESC’s Investment in 30GWh Kentucky Gigafactory Creates 2,000 New Jobs and Solidifies the Commonwealth as Electric Vehicle Battery Capital of U.S.
Envision AESC, a world-leading Japanese electric vehicle battery technology company, along with Gov. Beshear, announced yesterday its $2 billion investment to build a new, state-of-the-art gigafactory in the Kentucky Transpark in Bowling Green, Warren County. The 30GWh plant will create 2,000 skilled jobs in the region, producing battery cells and modules to power the next generation EVs. To learn more, see the full release.

“Envision is a company with a tremendous track record for success,” said Gov. Beshear. “They’ve been producing high-performance, extended-range batteries for 12 years. They are not new to this and they currently power over 650,000 vehicles operating in 44 counties. In that time, Envision has achieved a record of zero critical battery malfunctions.”

Gov. Beshear Releases Tax Returns for Sixth Straight Year, Again Challenges Other Elected State Leaders to Release Theirs
Gov. Beshear reiterated his commitment to transparency once again when he released his 2021 tax returns and 2021 Statement of Financial Disclosure. For the sixth consecutive year, the Governor has released his tax returns and called on all other constitutional officers and legislative leaders to do the same. So far, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman is the only other statewide elected official to release their returns in the last six years. To learn more, see the full release.

Governor, First Lady Unveil 2022 Governor’s Derby Celebration Poster
Gov. Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear joined officials from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) and the 2022 Derby Festival Royal Court for the unveiling of the 2022 Governor’s Derby Celebration Poster yesterday.

“Around the world, the Kentucky Derby is known as ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports,’ but here in Kentucky, it is more than just a race: It’s our culture,” the Governor said. “Whether you are standing against the rail at Churchill Downs or watching with friends and family at home, the Derby is when we come together to celebrate what it means to be a Kentuckian.”

Easter Celebration and Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-Off at Capitol
The Governor reminded Kentuckians of the Easter celebration that is taking place at the Capitol this Saturday, April 16, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. EDT. This event is free to attend.

“The celebration will have a variety of family-fun activities, including an Easter egg hunt, festive games, crafts, food trucks and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny,” Gov. Beshear said.

On April 30, from noon to 5 p.m. EDT, there will be a Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-Off at the Capitol that will host arts and crafts vendors, the Franklin County farmers market, food trucks, kids’ crafts and game stations and live music.

Vehicle Property Tax Refunds
Gov. Beshear today announced that vehicle property tax refund checks will soon be in the mail to Kentuckians who had already paid their vehicle taxes this year because their birthdays fell in the months of January, February and March. This action is estimated to save Kentucky vehicle owners more than $370 million in vehicle property taxes.

The Governor took executive action in February to immediately stop an increase in vehicle property taxes for two years, which was caused by the rising cost of used cars. As a result, vehicle owners will pay the same amount in tax in 2022 and 2023 as they paid in 2021, provided they own the same vehicle, it is in similar condition and they continue to live in the same county.

In addition to the executive action, which immediately began the refund process, the General Assembly also passed House Bill 6, which codifies the effects of the Governor’s executive order. That bill included a requirement that these refunds be issued within 90 days to eligible vehicle owners.

“Today, I’m pleased to report that we are not only meeting that deadline but are issuing them significantly faster than required due to the hard work and collaboration of many state and local agencies,” Gov. Beshear said. “This is good news for Kentucky vehicle owners who collectively are expected to save more than $370 million in vehicle property taxes.”

More than 221,000 recorded refund checks, which are scheduled to be mailed out over a two-week period, may begin going out as early as next week. Checks will be issued in batches of 25,000 per day until all the refunds for vehicle taxes paid in January, February and March have been sent. The average refund amount is expected to be between $40 to $50, depending upon the vehicle’s value.

Notices of vehicle taxes due in April through the remainder of the year already have been adjusted to reflect this rate freeze, avoiding the need for a refund to be issued.

Vehicle owners with questions can find more information on the Kentucky Department of Revenue’s website.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
Gov. Beshear said that each year, visitors from all around the state travel to Frankfort to take photos of the beautiful landscaping on our Capitol grounds, which is designed, planted and maintained by employees in the landscaping branch of the Finance Cabinet’s Department for Facilities and Support Services.

In addition to the tulips, the landscaping crew is also responsible for the seasonal designs featured on Kentucky’s one-of-a-kind floral clock, which holds 100 tons of dirt and flowers and measures 34 feet in diameter. This group of professional landscapers also maintains the Capitol rose garden and designs and cares for the variety of beautiful hanging planters and other flora that surround the Capitol.

During the height of the pandemic, they had the somber responsibility of placing thousands of flags that were planted on the Capitol lawn in remembrance of Kentuckians lost to COVID-19.

Members of the Capitol landscaping crew include: Ryan Hix, landscape manager; Shawn Purvis, landscape gardener supervisor; Kaitlin Farlee, who is responsible for the grounds at the Governor’s Mansion; Harper Smith, landscape gardener II, who has more than 40 years of experience working for the department; Erica Van Meter, landscape gardener II; and Tim Depenbrock, the long-time arborist for the department.

“Today, we recognize them for their exceptional talent and hard work by naming them Team Kentucky All-Stars,” Gov. Beshear said.

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