State of Tennessee Archives: on Tax Reform

Manny Sethi: Reduce regulation; cut taxes for long-term growth

As we tackle the virus, we also need immediate economic solutions to help small businesses. We should reduce regulation, increase access to small business loans and cut taxes for long-term growth. We should also make it easier for companies to move their operations back to America from China.
Source: OpEd in Nashville Tennesseean on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Apr 20, 2020

Bill Lee: Halve professional privilege tax, it's arbitrary and unfair

It's only fair that when the state is fiscally healthy, some of that money be returned to the taxpayer. Tonight, I am announcing a proposal to cut the professional privilege tax in half and return $40 million to individuals and small business owners who every year pay this arbitrary and unfair tax. Indeed, the state is seeing strong economic times, but many of our local governments are struggling financially, and we certainly don't want to see any local tax increases.
Source: 2020 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature Feb 3, 2020

Bill Hagerty: Trump's tax cuts are working; for balanced budget amendment

Tennesseans know firsthand the value of low taxes and small government, and Washington, D.C. could learn a lot from our example. President Trump's tax cuts are working. Bill believes we need to continue to make the tax code simple, fair, low, and permanent, and he'll fight to make sure our tax policy encourages job creation and makes our economy globally competitive. He supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website Dec 24, 2019

Marsha Blackburn: Support President Trump's tax cuts

Q: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

Marsha Blackburn (R): Yes. "People can keep more of the money they earn throughout their lives."

Phil Bredesen (D): No. "They threw a few crumbs to the middle class to give these huge breaks to wealthier people and corporations."

Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Tennessee Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Larry Crim: Lower tax rates; close loopholes

Crim proposes maintaining or lowering tax rates for the typical Tennessean, American and Small Business owner, while eliminating tax loopholes which currently permit many of the largest and richest billionaire corporations to pay little or no taxes. This revision in corporate tax policy will result in new revenues, which are fair, and help us mitigate future "fiscal cliff" and budgetary crises in America.
Source: 2018 Tennessee Senatorial website Oct 15, 2017

Diane Black: Flatter, simpler tax needed

Black, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said, "I think the most important thing about tax reform is that we do something now since it's been since 1986 that there has been tax reform and the tax code is so complicated. Really, if we were thinking about something fairer, flatter, and simpler, the president is going in that direction as well as us."
Source: on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race Aug 22, 2017

Karl Dean: Raised city property taxes, but after Great Recession

The Republican Governors Association is accusing Karl Dean of getting "caught misleading voters on taxes." The RGA released an 8-second video of Dean saying, "I don't want to raise taxes on Tennesseans, let me be clear about that, and I would point to my record as mayor." The RGA referenced Metro's 53-cent property tax hike in 2012 that was proposed by Dean and passed by the Metro Council.

It marked the only property tax increase over Dean's eight years in the mayor's office--but the RGA pointed to news clips of a Dean campaign pledge from the 2007 mayor's race when he said he opposes property tax increases. "Tennessee voters can't trust Dean to tell the truth or keep his promises," the RGA press release said.

Dean responded, "If the clip hadn't been cut off after just a few seconds, you would hear that I did not raise property taxes during my first term in office. I kept my promise to voters, even through the Great Recession," Dean said.

Source: The Tennessean on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race Apr 25, 2017

Mark Green: Eliminate Hall tax: 6% on unearned interest and dividends

In Tennessee, we can see some real progress: a phase-out of the state's much-loathed "Hall tax" on unearned income. The Hall tax has long been a thorn in the side of an otherwise low-income-tax state. Tennessee does not levy a general state income tax However, the Hall tax was a 6% bite out of interest and dividend income from investments.

The elimination of the Hall tax is crucial for several reasons. First, in the race for residents and jobs, a state's tax environment becomes a huge factor. Once the Hall tax is a thing of the past, Tennessee will become a more attractive destination for owners of Subchapter S corporations, as well as for retirees--in other words, anyone with investments.

Senate Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Mark Green stated in support of the bill that "the best place for the earnings of our citizens is in their own personal budget and not the state's to spend." Green's words ring true with anyone looking for job-creating, growth-encouraging reform.

Source: Forbes Magazine OpEd on 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial race May 4, 2016

Gordon Ball: Simplify and streamline the tax code with flat tax

They differ on two issues that Adams has tried to underscore--Ball's support for the construction of the Keystone pipeline and his proposal for a flat tax that Ball says would simplify and streamline the tax code and that Adams says would raise taxes for working people and the middle class and lower them for "millionaires like himself."
Source: Memphis Flyer on 2014 Tennessee Senate race Aug 6, 2014

Bill Haslam: TN thinks differently: don't spend money; give back taxes

So what makes Tennessee different? Why are we coming out of one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen in a place of strength? I believe it's because we think differently. We have a long history of fiscal restraint that crosses party lines. We have been deliberate about not spending money that we don't have and in making a concerted effort to save for the future. A good example was last year when there was temptation for some to quickly commit and spend funds that were coming in above estimates, but in the tradition of our state's discretion, we held the line. And now we are well-positioned to continue to invest in a thoughtful, strategic manner. Unlike Congress, this body is willing to make hard decisions. You've voted to cut the budget; you've voted to make key investments; and you've voted to set reserves aside for the future. You've also given Tennesseans their money back by cutting taxes.
Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Tennessee legislature Jan 28, 2013

Bob Tuke: Repeal Bush tax cuts that favor wealthy Americans

Under the misguided policies of the Bush Administration & with the blind support of Lamar Alexander, Tennessee families are being hit right in the pocketbook with no relief in sight.

I will vote to repeal parts of the Bush tax cuts that favor wealthy Americans, and sponsor legislation that will give tax relief to middle-class Americans. I support pay-as-you-go budgeting. Anytime Congress wants to spend more money or pass a new tax cut, it must designate where the money is coming from.

Source: 2008 Senate campaign website,, “Issues” Jun 3, 2008

Howard Phillips: Eliminate income tax, corporate tax, & estate tax

It’s time to insist on a Constitutional budget, coupled with the elimination of the income tax, the corporate tax, the estate tax, and all taxes which unfairly and improperly enable Federal bureaucrats to invade our privacy, regulate our conduct, or steal from us the savings and earnings to which we and our families are entitled, and on which civil government has no legitimate claim.
Source: Remarks at National Affairs Briefing, Memphis, Tennessee Jan 19, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Tennessee Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 14, 2021