We have to balance the budget without increasing taxes. The state's financial situation is a reflection of its residents and it would be wrong to pass the responsibility down. Government doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. The state must make wise decisions and cut useless spending just like so many households are doing.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett recently stated to the Leadership Lincoln group that since he was elected in 2008, his department's budget has been reduced by more than 3 million dollars. In spite of these cuts, he said Tennessee residents will not notice any negative changes in the services they receive. This same principal must be applied to all state departments. Their budgets will continue to be reduced and they must find ways to provide services to those who need it most. The legislature must study next year's budget and find out where cuts can be made that affect the least number of people.
Fifty five percent of the state's income is raised through the sales tax, so the most promising way to increase the state's revenue will come through expanding the tax base. Addressing and solving our employment problems will increase the amount of spending within our local economies. This is beneficial for two reasons. It helps local businesses and supplies the state's largest source of revenue. There are a number of people who are taking advantage of sales tax exemptions. We must work to make sure those who receive this incentive deserve it, and remove those from the list who are wrongly benefiting from the system