TCPR offers solution to protect taxpayers and small businesses

August 31, 2011 1:00PM

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research today released a policy brief outlining a proposal to improve the process for calculating the cost of state legislation. TCPR senior fellow and former state Rep. Donna Barrett authored the brief, titled Accurately Calculating the Cost of Tennessee Legislation. The brief will be provided to legislative leaders in an effort to encourage them to review and revise the currently flawed process for calculating fiscal notes, which are cost analyses attached to every bill filed in the General Assembly. Among the proposed changes, Barrett calls for the process to include an analysis on the impact legislation has on the private sector. Currently, only the impact on state tax revenues or expenditures is calculated, yet legislation almost always impacts the private sector, often in a negative way. “Although small businesses are the backbone of our economy, lawmakers never consider the impact their actions will have on these job creators,” said Barrett. “It’s time to revise the fiscal note process to protect taxpayers and small businesses alike.” The brief further calls for more stringent calculations that would protect taxpayers’ hard-earned money more than the current process affords. “When lawmakers rely on a flawed process for calculating the cost of proposed legislation, taxpayers often get left holding the bag,” said TCPR president Justin Owen. “I appreciate the work Rep. Barrett has done to identify and offer a solution to this glaring problem, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with her and legislative leaders to implement the proposals. The brief can be downloaded at: Prior to joining the Tennessee Center for Policy Research as a senior fellow, Barrett served in the Tennessee House of Representatives for ten years. During her tenure, she was heavily involved in reviewing the cost of proposed legislation as a member of the House Fiscal Review Committee and chairman of the House Republican Caucus Bill Review Committee. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan think tank committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee. Through research and advocacy, the Center promotes policy solutions grounded in the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government. For more information, visit