Posts Tagged ‘death tax’

What I am Thankful For

What I am Thankful For

The Beacon Center tends to focus on finding free-market solutions to the problems we face here in Tennessee. However, in honor of Thanksgiving, instead of focusing on the problems, I would like to recognize some of the things about Tennessee for which I am sincerely thankful.

Tennessee is Income Tax-Free

While repeal of the Hall Tax would be ideal, which would make Tennessee completely income tax-free, it is important to remember that we have it pretty good right now. There are only 9 states without an income tax, and we are lucky enough to be among them; and with the recent passage of Amendment 3, we can be sure it will stay that way forever. Having previously lived in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, it is a great feeling to be able to keep more of my hard-earned money instead of giving it away to the state government to spend inefficiently. I am very thankful Tennessee is income tax-free and will be still more thankful when we repeal the Hall Tax.

Tennessee Will Have No “Death Tax” by 2016

After Beacon successfully helped to pass a bill that repealed the “Death Tax” in 2012, I can rest assured that my family won’t have to pay taxes on my estate once I pass away. There is nothing fair about paying taxes twice for the very same thing, which is exactly what the “Death Tax” is. I am very thankful to live in a state where I can afford to die.

Tennessee is One of the Freest States in the Nation

According to the Mercatus Center’s Freedom in the 50 States, Tennessee is the 3rd freest state in the nation in terms of personal and economic freedoms. Overall, the state of Tennessee ranks in the top 5 nationally in economic freedom, fiscal and tax policy, and labor market freedom. I am thankful that I live in a state that is booming economically because of low regulations and a low tax burden. I am also extremely thankful that I live in a state that offers workers choice and is a right-to-work state.

Tennessee is Awesome

The last reason is less about economic factors and more about the amazing things that Tennessee has to offer. From the BBQ in Memphis to the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Tennessee has it all. Whether you’re in Nashville and want to hear the best live country music in the world just a few blocks away from our office on Broadway or go to a Vols game in Knoxville, I am thankful to live in the great state of Tennessee.


-Mark Cunningham

November 26th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

Hillary and Washington’s GOP Finally Agree: Death Tax is Killer

Hillary and Washington’s GOP Finally Agree: Death Tax is Killer

It seems that both Hillary Clinton and a majority of U.S House GOP members may have finally found something on which they can agree. Americans for Tax Reform’s Ryan Ellis wrote in Forbes last week that the death of the national death tax might be imminent, as the 218th cosponsor in the U.S House of Representatives signed on to support the Death Tax Repeal Act—meaning that a clear majority of House members have now officially pledged to vote for repeal.

Meanwhile, news was also breaking that Bill and Hillary Clinton are scheming (surprise) to evade having to personally pay the death tax. Common ground? Not quite. Hillary still thinks the rest of America should pay up… perhaps she’s just “dead broke” and can’t afford it, I suppose. But what difference does it make anyway?

The point is that this resurgence of support for repeal at the federal level is extremely encouraging. As Ellis surmises, Congress may do what it has not done since 2005 and vote to kill the death tax—something that Tennessee voted to do at the state level back in 2012, phased out over four years and eradicated by 2016. Of course, Washington is always a few steps behind fiscally responsible states like ours.

Ellis uses a dollar bill to illustrate the ridiculous nature of the tax in its current form. If the total revenue generated by the federal government were represented in one dollar, the revenue collected from the death tax would account for one half of one penny. Yet, the tax can take a tremendous toll on small business owners, who as Ellis notes, are driven to spend billions “on estate attorneys, actuaries, financial planners, charities, trusts, and other rent seekers who profit from the existence of even a very small federal death tax.”

Tennesseans who are already anticipating the death of this tax in 2016 can perhaps provide the cheering section for the federal initiative in the coming months. As economists Arthur B. Laffer and Wayne H. Winegarden argued at the time of Tennessee’s repeal, job creators were driven out of the state because of the tax and took “all their jobs, entrepreneurship, spending, homes and wealth with them.” Fortunately, that trend is now being reversed.

Here’s to hoping that the leadership in Washington can, for once, summon the courage that leadership here at home has displayed and finally send this nasty tax to its long-awaited grave.

-Lindsay Boyd

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June 23rd, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

Forbes notes Beacon’s work on death tax repeal

In a new article, Forbes discusses the effort to repeal Tennessee’s death tax. The end of the article cites Beacon’s work, including the study conducted by Dr. Art Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden on the issue. Read the entire article at this link.

July 2nd, 2012 | Recent News