Earlier this year, members of our Missouri Tiger Force team traveled to Memphis and Nashville to experience first hand the benefits of living in a no income tax state. (Tax Reform: The Sun is Shining in Tennessee)
Senator Kelsey, featured in the video, recently sent out his end of session report. He followed up on the bill he referred to in the video regarding a constitutional amendment to close any loophole that might allow a backdoor approach to implementing an income tax and calling it something else. He and most Tennesseans recognize the negative economic impact that an income tax would bring to the state.
Here is Senator Kelsey’s update:
“No State Income Tax” Amendment
Mark your calendars now for January 10, 2012. That is the date that my “No State Income Tax” constitutional amendment should pass the Tennessee House of Representatives for the first time ever. The resolution passed the Senate on March 9 by a vote of 28 to 5. After former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh tried to attach a poison pill amendment to it, the House redrafted the amendment. The new version passed the Senate on May 18 by a vote of 26 to 4. The House passed the new version through the Finance Committee and read it twice as required by the constitution. But on the last day of session the House deferred the third reading until the first day of session next year. If passed, the resolution must receive a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate in 2013-2014 before going on the November 2014 ballot for ratification.
Not having an income tax has already brought jobs to Tennessee. Being able to tell prospective businesses that we will never have an income tax will help us become the number one state in the southeast for high quality jobs. This amendment will close the door on the income tax battle forever.
On a similar note, the legislature passed a bill this year to increase the exemption for seniors over 65 paying the Hall income tax on interest and dividends to $26,200 for single filers and $37,000 for joint filers. This is a step in the right direction toward eliminating that tax.
The Missouri legislature failed once again to take advantage of the opportunity to reform Missouri’s tax system. They left the opportunity to make Missouri the economic engine of the midwest laying on the table. Unfortunately, they spent more time on how to give away tax dollars with more tax credits, picking winners and loser resulting mainly in Missourians being the losers.
Fortunately, others are working on giving Missourians’ the opporutnity to decide for themselves about making true economic reform a priority. Actions to place a tax reform measure on the ballot that will eliminate the state income tax and replace it with a consumer driven consumption tax continue to move forward.
Missourians will asked whether they want to change the economic dynamic of the state, improving on a model that has worked well in Tennessee resulting significant economic growth. If they give it serious thought, they will undoubtedly say YES!