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Public Statements

Issue Position: Taxes

Issue Position

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A pro-jobs economy must have low taxes and limited regulation. Under my leadership, the Senate passed the largest tax cut in Tennessee history by cutting the sales tax on food. We also established a permanent sales tax holiday for back-to-school items as well as computers and a wide array of goods used by every citizen. I also stood up and fought to eliminate the state income tax in Tennessee, allowing hard working Tennesseans to keep more of what they earn rather than be forced to hand it over to state government.

Boosting the economy is not just about passing good bills. It's about stopping bad ones. In my first year as Senate Speaker, pro-business groups identified several job-killing bills which passed the House of Representatives. All of them were stopped in the Senate.

More recently, I've spoken out to denounce Governor Bredesen's plan to hike taxes on small businesses -- and we've successfully gutted that from the state budget.

Governor Bredesen's initial 2011 budget plan removed the tax cap on purchases of tangible personal property. It would have made the state single-article tax -- now levied only on the second $1,600 of a purchase -- apply to the entire price, generating about $85 million. The Bredesen proposal would not apply to motor vehicles, boats and manufactured homes but would have added significantly to the tax burden of businesses investing in new equipment. For example, the state's take on $30,000 worth of office furniture would rise by 34 percent -- more than $700 -- while a $100,000 piece of industrial machinery would cost an extra $2,700.

I have a proven record of cutting taxes and regulation to keep Tennessee working.

I am the only candidate in this race with experience balancing a state budget without a state income tax. As Governor, I will keep Tennessee one of the lowest taxed states and stop any effort to pass a state income tax.


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