Graviss: A good steward of state resources
For Joe Graviss, too many elected officials are interested in holding onto power instead of serving their constituents.
Graviss is running for the state’s 56th House District representing parts of Fayette and Franklin counties and all of Woodford County.
“We pay taxes so that we can make critical investments to make our commonwealth strong. Too many of our elected leaders have not been good stewards of our government or our resources, and the processes we depend on as a civilized society have been ignored,” Graviss said.
“It seems like too many of our elected officials are more interested in politics, getting re-elected, and controlling power than they are in serving their constituents. That’s why I’m running. I want to be a good steward of our resources, and I want to be an elected leader who represents our district and the commonwealth regardless of who’s in power.”
According to Graviss, it shouldn’t matter who is in “power,” but serving the people officials were elected to represent.
“I’m not interested in political games or war, I’m interested in getting to work with others that are truly interested in working together to solve problems,” Graviss said.
Graviss takes the same service-minded approach when it comes to pensions and tax reform.
“Retirees and current state employees need to be assured we will keep the promises we’ve made to them. As a businessman, I understand that the way we keep those promises is to find a real, fair, and equitable solution that includes sufficient revenues to continue paying down the unfunded liabilities.”
The latest tax reform bill may have removed some exemptions and exclusions, but according to Graviss, it also made the state’s code more regressive by shifting more burden onto the sales tax and away from the income tax.
“It also increases the disparities between the wealthy and everyone else by providing more advantages for wealthy taxpayers,” Graviss said. “We are all suffering because of the lack of investment and lack of growth. We’ve had round after round of budget cuts to the point that our systems are close to breaking.
“Social workers and public defenders have unmanageable caseloads, our county jails are way over capacity and college is becoming unaffordable for more and more Kentuckians as tuition is increased because of cuts in state funding. Our current tax system is unsustainable. We’ve studied and debated this for too long, and people are truly suffering — our neighbors, our friends, and our communities.”
Graviss is a retired, former owner\operator, of nine McDonald’s restaurants in Lexington, Frankfort, Versailles and Midway with over 600 employees.
He graduated summa cum laude from Transylvania University in 1986 with majors in accounting and business administration and minors in political science and history.
Graviss serves on the Kentucky Resources Council board, The Bluegrass Community Foundation board, the Nursing Home Ombudsman Association of the Bluegrass board, and the executive committees of the Woodford County and Kentucky Democratic Party, Woodford Tomorrow, the Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback and Water Trails Alliance, and the Woodford County Community Foundation.
He’s a former certified public accountant and has formally served on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education as vice-chair, Transylvania University Board of Regents, and Midway College Board of Trustees among others.
Graviss values the importance of education as an equalizer, an economic stimulator and leads to a better quality of life.
“I believe that the most important thing that we can do to move our commonwealth forward is to ensure that every Kentuckian has an opportunity to get a quality education,” Graviss said. “We have a duty and an obligation to work to improve economic conditions for everyone in the commonwealth. We do this by providing uniformly great schools and other educational opportunities for our citizens, and by supporting local officials who are working to develop thriving communities across the commonwealth.”