state taxes

Blackburn online Senate campaign ad (she opposed TN income tax)

In this online video for her U.S. Senate campaign, Rep. Marsha Blackburn points to her opposition to a state income tax while she was a state senator and takes a swat at TennCare in the process. She says the tax was proposed by a governor (Republican Don Sunquist, not mentioned in the video) “trying to pay for this test case for Hillary Care, which was called TennCare.”

Hall tax repeal prompts letter-writing war between GOP legislators and Democrats

A letter-writing war has been underway in recent editions of The Cleveland Daily Banner between Republican state legislators representing Bradley County and Democrats. A letter from state Democratic  Chair Mary Mancini was the latest episode and prompted the newspaper to do a roundup story that chronicles the back-and-forth written sniping.

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Legislator proposes to stop $30M in fees paid by local governments to state Dept. of Revenue

State Rep. Jason Zachary, working with Knox County Commissioner  John Schoonmaker, is making plans to eliminate a fee charged local governments by the state Department of Revenue for collecting local sales taxes and distributing the money to counties and cities, reports the News Sentinel.

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Corker seeks inclusion of ‘backstop’ in Senate tax overhaul; otherwise ‘very possible’ he’ll vote no

U.S. Senate Republican leaders are considering last-minute changes in federal tax overhaul legislation, including a provision pushed by Tennessee’s Bob Corker that could eliminate some tax cuts if the new law winds up adding more to the federal deficit than projected, reports Politico.

Two critical Republican swing votes, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee, on Monday left open the possibility that they could vote against the tax plan in a key committee vote scheduled for Tuesday if changes weren’t made to their liking. That would tank the bill before it could reach the floor, putting more pressure on leadership to quickly make revisions.

…A handful of deficit hawks — including Corker and Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma — are discussing a trigger mechanism that would kick in and potentially change tax rates if the economic growth needed to defray the cost of the tax overhaul doesn’t materialize.

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Black, Harwell and Fitzhugh release income tax info; other gubernatorial candidates refuse

Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor have turned down a Tennessean request to make public details of their federal income tax returns.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries. Of the other Republican candidates Mae Beavers, Randy Boyd and Bill Lee declined – though Boyd indicated he may reconsider in the future.

On the Democrat side, House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh released a copy of his 2016 return and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean declined the request, though indicating he may reconsider later.

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Poll finds Tennesseans skeptical of Senate Republican tax plan

Excerpt from a Hart Research Associates polling memo on a Nov. 17-9, 2017 survey of 400 registered voters in Tennessee, with a margin of error of ±five percentage points, asking their sentiments on the tax plan now pending in the U.S. Senate.  It was apparently commissioned by Americans for Fair Taxation, a non-profit organization of multiple groups – including labor unions and others generally oriented toward Democrats.

-Just 30% of Tennessee voters currently approve of the Republican tax plan, while nearly half (47%) disapprove. Significantly, strong sentiment on the issue is even more lopsided, with more than twice as many voters strongly disapproving (28%) as strongly approving (13%).

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State’s October tax revenue $1.3M under budget estimate

Press release from Department of Finance and Administration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee revenues for October exceeded revenues from the same month a year ago, but were marginally less than the budgeted estimate. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reported today that October revenues were $1.0 billion, which is $31.1 million more than October of last year and $1.3 million less than the budgeted estimate. The growth rate for October was 3.16%.

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Doss gets a challenger in House District 70 GOP primary

Clay Doggett, a Pulaski businessman, has announced he will seek the Republican nomination in House District 70, now held by incumbent Republican Rep. Barry Doss of Leoma, the House Transportation Committee chairman who gained some statewide attention last session as House sponsor of Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, including an increase in fuel taxes.

Here’s Doggett’s press release:

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$2.5B in annual TN business subsidies, outcomes often unknown

Tennessee state and local governments provide more than $2.5 billion in subsidies such as grants, tax breaks and tax credits to businesses each year, but there’s often little public information provided on whether the taxpayer money is working to produce promised jobs.

That’s the bottom line of reporting by the state’s four largest newspapers  — The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News Sentinel and (Chattanooga) Times Free Press — published this weekend.

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Wheel tax referendum fell short on valid signatures in Hawkins County

A petition drive seeking a special election to consider repeal a recent $40-per-vehicle increase in the Hawkins County wheel tax fell 127 signatures short of the number required, according to the Rogersville Review. Indeed, county Election Administrator Donna Sharp says there were more invalid signatures than valid. Advocates needed 1,095 valid signatures.

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