Alexander Renews Efforts With Blackburn To Preserve State Sales Tax Deduction

Friday, November 16, 2012

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Friday announced he would be working with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn.) to preserve the state sales tax deduction, a provision allowing taxpayers in states with no income tax, such as Tennessee, to deduct their state sales tax payments from their federal income tax.

Senator Alexander said, “Tennesseans shouldn’t pay a greater share of taxes than other taxpayers, simply because we pay sales tax instead of income tax. Preserving this deduction is a matter of fairness, and it will keep an average of $400 in the pockets of more than half-million Tennesseans who itemize their taxes.

“Rep. Blackburn was the leader in restoring the deduction in 2004 and she’s the leader now in the effort to ensure it is extended again.  I look forward to working with her to preserve this important tax provision.”

The U.S. tax code contains a permanent provision allowing for the deduction of state income tax from federal income tax payments. Tennesseans, along with residents of Alaska, Texas, Florida, Wyoming, Washington, South Dakota and Nevada, don’t pay income tax, but allowing deduction of sales taxes has put them on equal footing with taxpayers in other states who can deduct their state income taxes from their federal tax obligation.

The sales tax deduction is not, however, a permanent part of the tax code. Congress passed a tax relief bill in 2004 permitting sales tax deduction for two years. Congress has extended that deduction in two-year increments since.

The deduction expired at the beginning of 2012. A temporary extension is included in the tax extenders bill reported by the Senate Finance Committee, which addresses several expiring tax provisions that make up the "fiscal cliff."

Senator Alexander recently joined Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tx.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.) in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging the extension of the deduction for state and local sales taxes. 

In 2010, 561,000 Tennesseans claimed the sales tax deduction.  


TVA Releases Draft Environmental Assessment For Johnsonville Steam Supply

The Tennessee Valley Authority has released a draft Environmental Assessment on a proposal that would allow the Johnsonville Fossil Plant site to continue to provide steam for cogeneration use after the coal plant closes. The draft study considers the environmental effects of the two alternatives under consideration: A) take no action or B) add a heat recovery steam generator ... (click for more)

Attorney General Reaches Settlement With Middle Tennessee Auto Dealer

Middle Tennessee auto dealer, Wholesale Inc., has agreed to immediately change its advertising practices and pay the State of Tennessee $50,000, Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced. A Davidson County Court approved the settlement between Wholesale, Inc., the Tennessee Attorney General's Office, and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. The agreement centers ... (click for more)

Erlanger's Good Financial News Continues With $11.4 Million Profit For Past 3 Months; Profit At $25.3 Million After 9 Months

Erlanger Health System's good financial news keeps coming - with the announcement on Monday of a profit of $11.4 million for the past three months. Brit Tabor said the hospital has a profit of $25.3 million for the first nine months of the fiscal year. Kevin Spiegel, hospital president, said more good news is projected for the fourth quarter. Mr. Tabor said, "Our market ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Get $100 Million New Electronic Medical Records System

Erlanger Health System will be getting a new electronic medical records system costing just short of $100 million, Erlanger CEO and President Kevin Spiegel said Monday. He said the old Legacy IT system was the hospital's #1 dissatisfaction source. The hospital board is to be asked to approve the system, which will be paid for over several years, at the May board meeting. ... (click for more)

Shock Should Be At Low Teacher Salaries - And Response (4)

In a recent article, Commissioner Tim Boyd is quoted as being shocked at the "high" salaries of central office personnel. While I agree that their salaries are significantly more than what a classroom teacher could ever hope to make, I believe that his shock and disgust are misplaced.  Those salaries, when compared to private-sector jobs, are hardly out of line. Superintendent ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Licker’ Gets 55 Counts

In what was described as “a scene from some sick horror movie,” Giles County sheriff’s deputies and animal welfare officers raided the farm of known “Big Licker” Jeffery Alan Mitchell near Pulaski, Tn., last week and confiscated 55 Tennessee Walking Horses, all horribly malnourished and some that were so emaciated they could no longer walk. By Sunday, the horses were receiving medical ... (click for more)