Posts Tagged ‘income tax’
It was one of those hot July days where we fought the heat and humidity outside the Tennessee State Capitol. The General Assembly was still in session and a fight was brewing inside the Senate Chamber. A Republican-led, Democrat-supported effort to raise taxes and put into place a disastrous state income tax was growing. Little did we know this was going to be the final showdown.
We were told the state was in such an economic crisis that an income tax was the only way out. We were told we’d have to raise taxes, again, to keep the pace with other states. We were told Tennessee would forever lag behind the rest of the nation if we didn’t start collecting another tax on her citizens. After all, with a state income tax, people could deduct if from their federal income tax filing. What a deal!
I’d had enough. The tax was first proposed on February 9, 1999 and I had been fighting it every day since then. The pro-tax crowd knew that only had to push to win one time. We had to win every battle in order to win the war. I wasn’t going to shrink into my corner and take my orders from the highest elected Republican in the state. I had been elected to serve the 23rd District of the State of Tennessee and I took my orders from them, the people. They didn’t want a state income tax and they recognized how disastrous it would truly be. My constituents wanted a fiscally sound government that answered to them and their dollar. They didn’t want to keep sending money to Nashville to a state government that was growing too large and too quickly. They did not want to prop up a failed healthcare delivery program called TennCare. They wanted accountability and transparency.
Joined by talk radio from around the state, rallying the troops, and calling on a few good friends, I asked for volunteers to come let their voice be known. Days grew to weeks, weeks to months, and over the years they rallied, honked, and took a stand with me and other conservative legislators against a state income tax. On that final showdown day, July 4,2002, we won the day and the Tennessee General Assembly went home with a balanced budget – passed, once again, without a state income tax.
Today Tennessee is ranked as one of the top states in the nation to start and grow a business. Along with an exceptional credit rating, Tennessee has one of the lowest per-person debt burdens nationwide. Today’s General Assembly and our governor are cutting even more taxes for our citizens and leading the way in offering accountable service for the taxpayer dollar.
All of this is possible because a few bold elected officials decided enough was enough. We knew we couldn’t tax our way to prosperity. We knew we would have to make tough choices with the budget and there would be more tough choices to come, but budgets are about priorities and making tough fiscal decisions.
As voters head to the polls on Tuesday, they will make a decision on Amendment 3. This amendment would make it crystal clear that the state’s constitution does not allow for the imposition of a state income tax. This will allow our legislature to move forward on a firm and definitive footing, creating an even more certain environment for jobs growth and retention. Our citizens and businesses will never have to worry about being burdened by another bucket of taxes.
-Congressman Marsha BlackburnOctober 31st, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News
Beacon CEO Justin Owen on the withdrawal of the Hall Income Tax repeal bill:
“We are deeply disappointed that we could not provide needed tax relief to Tennessee’s seniors and job creators by repealing the Hall Income Tax. But it is important to note that this bill died purely based on perception due to unexpectedly poor revenue news delivered during the course of the debate. There is strong support among Tennesseans for repealing this tax, and the economic benefits a repeal would provide are indisputable. We will not back down until this immoral and economically destructive tax is off the books and Tennessee becomes truly income tax free once and for all.”April 17th, 2014 | Recent News
This recent Forbes column exposes Tennessee’s income tax secret and notes Beacon’s success in telling the stories of those impacted by the Hall Income Tax.
…But, more importantly, tax policy affects real families and their ability to build a sustainable life. This report, published by The Beacon Center, gives real-life examples of how this little-known tax hurts retirees who have selected Tennessee because of it “no-income-tax” claims. The truth is that the Hall Tax penalizes seniors by creating unexpected retirement expenses. For one middle-class couple who has retired to Tennessee and primarily lives off the income of their hard-earned savings and investments, the Hall Tax came as a surprise. They now are finding themselves with the difficult decision of uprooting to a “true” no-income-tax state, such as Florida.
The report also tells the story of a successful Tennessee entrepreneur, Nickolas Holland, who would like to cease collecting a salary from one business while he spends time growing his second business. His choice would be to draw income from his shares of stock from his more stable first company. His plans have been thwarted by the heavy penalty of the Hall Tax.
Tennessee has done much to create an environment that is attractive to, and supportive of, its workers, business owners and retirees. In fact, my own home state of Missouri could learn much from our neighbor to the east. Volunteer State leaders should seriously consider putting an end to this “hidden” tax that penalizes seniors and job-creators and prevents future investors.
Read the entire article here.April 4th, 2014 | Recent News