Kelsey, Casada File Constitutional Amendment To Ban State Income Tax

Thursday, November 8, 2012

State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) filed a constitutional amendment Wednesday to permanently ban an income tax in Tennessee.  The “No State Income Tax Amendment,” or Senate Joint Resolution 1, would allow Tennesseans to vote in 2014 to clarify the state constitutional prohibition on a personal income tax. 

Tennessee voters overwhelmingly elected state legislators Tuesday who oppose an income tax,” said Senator Kelsey.

  “In these difficult economic times, the last thing Tennesseans need to be worrying about is having to pay a state income tax. This amendment will put the issue to rest once and for all.”

Senator Kelsey announced Wednesday that he has also filed a separate state constitutional amendment that would change the way state appellate judges are chosen to mirror the Founding Fathers plan in the U.S. Constitution.  Senate Joint Resolution 2, called the Founding Fathers Plan Plus, calls for appointment of state appellate judges in a manner similar to the federal model by allowing the Tennessee governor to appoint judges subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. That amendment passed the House and Senate by two-thirds majorities last year.   

The “No State Income Tax” Amendment also begins step two of a three-step process of amending the state constitution.  Step one occurred when the resolution passed the Senate and the House with bipartisan support of over two-thirds of the members during the 2011-2012 General Assembly.  Step two will require a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House during the 2013-2014 General Assembly, which will convene January 8.  Step three is a ratification vote by the people on the November 2014 ballot.

State Representative Glen Casada (R-Franklin) is the House sponsor of the amendment: “I am optimistic that we will be able to move forward this year with the two-thirds majority needed to put this matter into the people’s hands,” he said.

The resolution specifies that the legislature as well as Tennessee counties and cities shall be prohibited from passing either an income tax or a payroll tax, which is a tax on employers that is measured by the wages they pay their workers.  The Hall income tax on dividends and interest will remain unchanged by the amendment.

Although many legal scholars argue that the state constitution already forbids an income tax, the state attorney general opined in 1999 that an income tax would be legal.  The opinion prompted elected officials to propose an income tax that failed by only five votes in the House of Representatives in 2002.  In recent years lawmakers have continued to propose bills to enact both an income tax and a payroll tax.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, SHERKINA DIANE  561 ARLINGTON AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CONTRABAND IN PENAL INSTITUTIONS POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE --- ALMOND, GUS BERNARD  812 WOODMORE LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 51 years old ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Cocaine Dealer, Who Said He Did It To Support His 7 Kids, Given 10-Year Federal Sentence

A Chattanooga cocaine dealer, who said he did it to support his seven kids, was ordered Monday to serve 10 years in federal prison. Reginald Dewayne McKenzie, who is originally from Atlanta and whose family is there, appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. His attorney, Anthony Martinez of the Federal Defender's Office, said McKenzie finished high school and some college. ... (click for more)

Six Commissioners Owe Us An Explanation - And Response (2)

Two-thirds of the Hamilton County Commission owe us an explanation as to why they feel it appropriate to take $900,000 of our money out of savings to spend on whatever suits their fancy, oversight be darned.  Those six commissioners are: Randy Fairbanks (D-1), Jim Fields (D-2), Warren Mackey (D-4), Sabrena Turner-Smedley (D-7), Tim Boyd (D-8), and Chester Bankston (D-9).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tonight, Take A Second

Peter Whibberley, known globally as “The Time Lord,” will freely tell anyone, “There are consequences of tinkering with time,” but tinker we must because the world – planet Earth -- is spinning slower. So tonight at 7:59:60 p.m. EDT, the Senior Research Scientist at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory will add an extra second to the hour – and our day -- before it becomes 8:00 ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Swimmers Get First Win Of Season

There are a lot of positive and upbeat coaches in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, but perhaps none any more than Fort Oglethorpe veteran Tony Womac. This guy is always happy, always smiling and always offering something positive to those around him. He may have been just a bit more of all the above on Monday night after his Marlins defeated the Cumberland Currents in a home ... (click for more)

John Shearer: A Look At The Origin Of The Lady Vols’ Name

On Wednesday, the University of Tennessee is scheduled to drop the Lady Vols nickname from all women’s sports teams except the basketball squad.   The change has been a source of much debate, particularly in Knoxville. As evidence, several people wanting to keep the Lady Vols name protested last Thursday along Joe Johnson Drive, near where the UT board of trustees was meeting ... (click for more)