Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today held a ceremonial bill signing in Crossville for the second piece of tax cut legislation in his 2013 legislative agenda, a reduction in the Hall Income tax for senior citizens.
The bill, HB 192/SB 198, raises the exemption level of the tax to single filers 65 years old with an income of less than $33,000 and to joint filers with at least one spouse at least 65 years old with an income of less than $59,000.
Previously, single filers at least 65 years old with an income of less than $26,200 and joint filers with at least one spouse at least 65 years old with an income of less than $37,000 were exempt from the Hall Income tax.
The new legislation is effective January 1, 2013 for tax purposes.
"Tennessee is ranked No. 1 among all states by bankrate.com as the best state for retirement," Haslam said. "By managing the state budget conservatively and focusing on making state government more efficient and effective, we've been able to cut taxes while continuing to make strategic investments and balancing the budget. I want to thank the General Assembly for passing this sensible legislation that makes Tennessee an even more attractive state to live."
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and state Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) sponsored the bill. In his first year in office, Haslam signed legislation that lifted the exemption from $16,200 to $26,200 for single filers and $27,000 to $37,000 for joint filers.
Taken together, the bills passed in 2011 and 2013 have doubled the income level at which senior citizens remain exempt from the Hall Income tax. Through two and a half years in office, Gov. Haslam has signed legislation cutting the grocery tax on food, the Hall Income tax, the inheritance tax and the gift tax.