What I am Thankful For


November 26, 2014 9:37AM

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 Tennessee Will Have No “Death Tax” by 2016 After Beacon successfully helped to pass a bill that repealed the “Death Tax” in 2012, I can rest assured that my family won’t have to pay taxes on my estate once I pass away.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