Governor Haslam, Rep. Watson Host Food Tax Reduction Bill Signing Ceremony

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Bill signing ceremony that lowers sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.
Bill signing ceremony that lowers sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.

Governor Bill Haslam joined State Rep. Eric Watson (R–Cleveland) for a bill signing ceremony in recognition of legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly that lowered the sales tax on groceries from 5.25 percent to a flat 5.00 percent rate.

The legislation builds on the success of a law adopted by Republicans in 2012 that lowered the sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent, officials said.  In total, the sales tax reduction this year will provide Tennessee taxpayers with over $25 million in tax relief. In 2008, Rep. Watson sponsored legislation to reduce the tax on groceries, but the bill was unsuccessful after being blocked by House Democrats.

“We’re lowering taxes and balancing the state budget by managing conservatively, making strategic investments in our priorities and finding new ways to make government more efficient and effective,” Governor Haslam said. “The sales tax on food impacts all Tennesseans, and I applaud the General Assembly for passing this important piece of legislation this year.”

"This new bill represents a promise made by Republicans to cut taxes and put more money back in the pockets of all Tennesseans,” stated Rep. Watson. “I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation and look forward to finding additional ways to ease the monetary burdens associated with the downturn in today’s economy over the coming weeks and months.”

The reduced tax rate does not apply to prepared foods such as a meal at a restaurant, candy, alcoholic beverages or tobacco.
Bill signing ceremony that lowers sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.
Bill signing ceremony that lowers sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.

Georgia’s Job Growth Rankings Improve In October

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that Georgia moved up to fifth in the nation and second in the Southeast in over-the-year job creation in October, compared to sixth and third respectively in September. The state gained 96,000 non-seasonally-adjusted jobs between October 2013 and October 2014, for a growth rate of 2.4 percent. The comparable national job growth rate ... (click for more)

Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 7 Percent In October

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region for October was 7.0 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.1 percent in September. The rate in October of last year was 7.8 percent. The rate fell as more people went to work. The number of employed residents in the region rose by 1,173 to 374,971, up from ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)