Tennesseans deserve a break

We have almost a billion dollars in available new revenue–plus an additional $100 million or more expected to be announced by the funding board in May: it’s time we gave tax relief to the people of Tennessee.

In a year when Tennessee is experiencing unprecedented growth, why are we not seeing relief for Tennessee’s working families?

In this year of unprecedented growth, all we keep hearing about are tax increases. Why grow government, when we are in a position to give back to the hardworking people of this state?

If we can’t do it now, then when can we?

Since the beginning of session, the Governor has made it clear that he was “drawing a line in the sand” about raising the cigarette tax. It’s time the people of Tennessee drew a line in the sand about cutting the food tax.

At an average state and local rate of 8.35%, Tennessee has the average highest food tax in the nation.

This puts and unfair burden on low- and middle-income families.

And about that budget…

Right now, Tennessee spends over $50,000/minute. That’s more than the average Tennessee family makes in an entire year of work.

Over the past five years, our state revenues have increased by 39 percent.

Tennessee will have almost $1 billion in new overall available revenue for our budget. Approximately $439 million in recurring revenue growth.

We have saved money. The rainy day fund is at $497 million (now), and after the Funding Board meets on May 7th, it is anticipated that recurring revenues will rise over to over $600 million.

The growth in state spending has more than doubled the growth in Tennesseans’ personal income—meaning state spending has increased 100 percent, while the average Tennessean’s personal income has only increased 50 percent.

Tennessee is running a budget surplus this year of approximately $200 million with one quarter left in the fiscal year.

Source: Rep. Matthew Hill