taxes

Retiring Corker subject of billboard campaign in Nashville

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga) may be hanging ’em up this year, but that’s not stopping a group called Not One Penny from taking out a billboard near the state Capitol in Nashville to attack him over his vote on President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

The Not One Penny campaign is part of the Tax March organization that describes itself as “everyday Americans who are tired of systems that are rigged in favor of the super-rich.” The billboard says that Corker’s vote for the tax bill led enriched the senator personally.

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AG contradicts Jack Daniels’ bill — says whiskey barrels can be taxed

A legal opinion from the state attorney general’s office says the barrels used to age whiskey in Tennessee distilleries are subject to property taxes paid by businesses, despite a contention to the contrary in a bill pending before the General Assembly.

Producers of Jack Daniels whiskey have been pushing the bill (SB2076) since officials in Moore County laid plans to begin applying the tax to aging barrels, something not done in the past. The fiscal note prepared by legislative staff estimates that would mean about $2.8 million in new revenue for Tennessee’s smallest county.

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TN Supreme Court rejects refund of liquor stores’ overpaid taxes

Press release from Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn. – In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a taxpayer must pay disputed municipal taxes under protest before suing for a refund.

The city of Morristown, based on a state statute, adopted an ordinance imposing an inspection fee on licensed alcoholic beverage retailers. The city set the fee at 8 percent of the wholesale price based on the county’s population. By 2011, the county’s population increased, and under the ordinance, the inspection fee should have decreased to a maximum fee of 5 percent of the wholesale price. However, from 2011–2014, the city of Morristown continued to charge alcoholic beverage retailers 8 percent inspection fees instead of the authorized 5 percent fees.  Continue reading

Randy Boyd releases tax info — $42M income in past two years

Press release from Randy Boyd campaign

Knoxville, Tenn. – During his two years of public service as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd returned his state salary back to the state and personally paid for all of his own travel and other official expenses – including any use of state aircraft and all other expenses while recruiting businesses to Tennessee from around the world.
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On the ‘testy’ exchange between Corker and Wolf Blitzer on tax bill

Excerpt from The Hill’s report on a “testy” exchange between Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer:

“I know I am being maligned,” Corker told Blitzer on Tuesday. “It’s just malicious.”

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Hatch ‘disgusted’ with Corker kickback claims

As the U.S. Senate prepared for a vote on federal tax overhaul legislation, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker’s shift from no to yes “swirled into a political firestorm,” according to Politico. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch on Tuesday sent Corker a letter basically declaring there was no “Corker kickback” – a label some have been using.

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Dean latest gubernatorial candidate to release tax info

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean and his wife had $19.2 million in taxable income from 2013 to 2016, reports The Tennessean  after he provided a tax summary statement.

Last year alone, Dean and his wife, Delta Anne Davis, who works for the Southern Environmental Law Center, earned nearly $2.7 million.

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Corker surprised by special tax cut for his commercial real estate business

The latest version of the federal tax bill that Congress is expected to approve this week includes a provision that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says caught him by surprise. It’s a tax break that would benefit persons with large commercial real estate holdings – such as Corker – and the senator has asked for an explanation.

Excerpt from a letter the Tennessee Republican sent Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Sunday, as reported by Bloomberg News.

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Corker flips — will vote for GOP tax bill after all

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced his support for the tax reform legislation developed by members of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Committee.

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Corker casts sole GOP no vote on Senate tax bill

Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker cast the only Republican no vote on federal tax overhaul legislation that passed the U.S. 51-49 early Saturday. The next step is for House and Senate Republicans to iron out their differences over the bill.

Insofar as Corker, goes, here is an excerpt from a CNN story:

Corker had made his support contingent on leaders including a trigger in the bill that would generate automatic tax cuts in the event the tax bill didn’t get the anticipated growth. But after reworking the proposal several times, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the trigger wouldn’t pass Senate rules that allowed Republicans to pass their tax bill along a party-line vote. Corker then demanded $350 billion in additional cuts his colleagues weren’t ready to give him.

But even Corker, who had left aides and colleagues fuming Thursday night with a dramatic showing on the Senate floor that included him huddled around the Senate’s parliamentarian and GOP leaders for more than hour, offered conciliatory remarks Friday morning at a closed-door GOP conference meeting.

According to two GOP sources, Corker moved to de-escalate the situation that angered his colleagues Thursday night, saying he was happy the party was on the precipice of passing their tax bill even if he wasn’t going to be with them. Republican leaders as of Friday morning were still trying to win his support, but sources acknowledged the reality: the decision had been made to cut him loose. They had the votes without him.

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker (issued prior to the vote):

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today (Friday) released the following statement.

“My concern about the impact a rapidly growing $20 trillion national debt will have on our children and grandchildren has been a guiding principle throughout my time in public service. And during my 10 years and 11 months in the Senate, I have consistently fought for fiscal discipline in Washington.

“I have authored comprehensive legislation to address America’s debt crisis, including the Commitment to American Prosperity (CAP) Act and the Fiscal Sustainability Act. I also have taken some really tough votes against very popular policies, including appropriations bills, budget resolutions, defense authorizations, disaster funding, and even a veterans’ bill. 

“But at the same time, I have consistently advocated for pro-growth tax reform. And in my view, these are not mutually exclusive priorities.

“From the beginning of this debate, I have been a cheerleader for legislation that – while allowing for current policy assumptions and reasonable dynamic scoring – would not add to the deficit and set rates that are permanent in nature.

“I worked closely with Senator Toomey to negotiate the budget agreement that paved the way for this legislation. And I have worked diligently over the past few weeks with Senate leadership and the White House to make improvements.

“While I support a number of the provisions included in this legislation and continue to believe it would have been fairly easy to alter the bill in a way that would have been more fiscally sound without harming the pro-growth policies, unfortunately, it is clear that the caucus is in a different place.

“This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.

“I thank the administration, Senate leadership, and members of the tax-writing committee for working with me in good faith, and as I shared with President Trump when I called him a short time ago, I will take a close look at the product developed in conference before making a decision on the final legislation.”