Posts Tagged ‘income tax’
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After Beacon successfully helped to pass a bill that repealed the “Death Tax” in 2012, I can rest assured that my family won’t have to pay taxes on my estate once I pass away.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 CunninghamNovember 26th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News
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