Bill Haslam is the only candidate for governor who has prepared, proposed, passed, and implemented a budget -- the same way a governor does.
Between a sluggish economy and state revenue shortfalls, rapidly depleting federal stimulus money, and a reliance on one-time money from the state's Rainy Day Fund, Tennessee is facing a budget crisis of almost $1.5 billion. And Washington is making it worse. Tennessee needs a governor who has managed difficult budgets before and who can guide us through this crisis.
Bill spent years watching every penny and making tough calls while operating a successful Tennessee-based, national company, and as Mayor he's tripled the city's rainy day fund, lowered the debt by 25 percent, submitted seven balanced budgets, and brought Knoxville's property tax rate to the lowest level in more than 50 years.
Bill knows it's not going to be easy when he takes office. We are facing a budget crisis unlike any in modern memory, and Bill is committed to not attempting to tax our way out of the problem. He is 100 percent opposed to a state income tax, and raising a sales tax that is already the highest combined state and average local rate in the nation is also off the table. Instead, Bill will restructure state government and force it to prioritize and live within its means.
When Bill takes office, he will launch a top-to-bottom review of state government in order to identify and eliminate waste, set priorities and establish measurable goals for those priorities, and ensure all aspects of state government are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.
For more on how Bill will make fiscal decisions, please see his "Ten Fiscal Principles for Conservative Leadership."