TN voters could decide amendment banning state income tax - WSMV Channel 4

TN voters could decide amendment banning state income tax

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A constitutional amendment to forever ban a state income tax in Tennessee is one step closer to the ballot.

The state Senate passed the proposal Thursday, but not everyone is sure banning an income tax for good is the best move.

More than a decade ago, thousands of protesters made noise at the Capitol and blocked the implementation of a state income tax. Now, the Senate has dropped the gavel and put another nail in the coffin.

"That is exactly the point of this resolution. I want to close the door on an income tax forever, and I think the people of Tennessee will want to do that as well when they vote next year," said State Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown.

Some dispute whether or not the state constitution already bans an income tax, but supporters of the ban say this proposal would clarify it forever.

"I don't think we ought to do this folks," said State Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville.

Others are concerned the state could leave itself with few options if another financial crisis hits. They say a state income tax could actually help lower taxes for the majority of Tennesseans, because it could allow for a reduction in the sales tax.

"It's not really sustainable to keep reducing the taxes we have and eliminating the possibility of any other tax," said Dick Williams, with Tennesseans for Fair Taxation.

And it soon could be up to the voters to decide which taxes they want and which taxes they don't.

The House must also pass the plan by a two-thirds vote, then it would go on the ballot in November 2014.

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