Modernizing Tennessee Tax Law
Nashville, TN - "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer." At least that's the way Tennessee's tax law works now, according to Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. The group says current state tax law results in residents with low incomes paying a greater percentage of their income in taxes than people with higher incomes.
The Tax Modernization and Economic Stimulus Act, introduced Friday in the state legislature, addresses that situation. It would eliminate some taxes, cut others and add a new one. The bill's supporters say the changes in tax law would raise an additional $1 billion each year, while the majority of Tennesseans - including those on the lower end of the income scale - would enjoy a tax cut.
John Stewart, state chair of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, says the new tax package will mean less tax paid by 60 percent of Tennessee families.
"This legislation permanently removes the tax on food and cuts the general sales tax by 3 percent, although it does also establish a tax on personal income."
If the bill passes, Stewart says, a family of four making $35,000 annually would save $750 a year. Opponents fear the income tax would rise over time, along with the sales tax, and Tennesseans could end up with a bigger tax burden.
The Tennesseans for Fair Taxation website offers families a tool to estimate the impact of the proposed legislation on their own taxes.
"There is what we call a tax calculator and it will tell you whether you will save money under this legislation or pay more."
The tax calculator is at www.fairtaxation.org.