Charles Sargent

Even outgoing legislators are permitted to let taxpayers foot the bill for out-of-state legislative trips, complete with a per diem, travel and lodging expenses.

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Press Release from the National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee Chapter; July 6, 2012:  NFIB Endorses Candidates in 5 Senate, 20 House Primaries NASHVILLE, July 6, 2012 – The National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee’s leading small business association, today said it has endorsed candidates in 25 state legislative primary races. The endorsements were made […]

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Republicans on Capitol Hill take pride in saying they want to reduce spending, but they ended up handing taxpayers the bill for $23 million in projects GOP lawmakers themselves identified as pork.

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The $31.5 billion spending package is about $400 million less than last year’s. It includes a 2.5 percent pay raise for state employees and accounts for cutting the tax on food to 5.5 percent from 5.25 percent, with expectations of dropping it further during Gov. Bill Haslam’s tenure. The plan also phases out the tax on inheriting estates over four years.

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GOP lawmakers set aside their disagreements and struck accord on a list of spending projects to cut and keep. The deal they achieved put the competing versions of the budget in line with one another and on track for final passage in both chambers Monday.

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Press Release from Tennessee Citizen Action, April 20, 2012: Tennessee Citizen Action Asks the Haslam Administration and Their Department of Commerce and Insurance Why They Support a Bill That Will Erode Consumer Protections Nashville, Tenn. (April 20, 2012) — Yesterday, the sponsor of a bill that would further erode consumer protection in Tennessee stated that […]

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Reductions to the taxes on groceries and inheritances were approved by the state House Thursday. Leadership at the Legislature expressed confidence the tax cuts would ultimately pass and be signed into law.

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“There’s not enough taxpayer money available to fund everything that people would like to see us fund,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris. Lawmakers are reviewing spending proposals for $5 million in the governor’s budget for projects brought by legislators.

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Tennessee has the lowest tax burden in the country, according to a Tax Foundation report that compares income to taxes paid by state.

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Gov. Bill Haslam expects to release a list of edits to his budget plan Monday, but is staying quiet about how he wants to spend an unexpected influx of taxpayer dollars collected by the state. The governor did say he doubts there will be room in his $31 million budget for Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s […]

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Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday the best reaction to a comptroller’s report widely seen as critical of former Department of Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr is to establish clearly defined procedures for tax variances granted by the commissioner. “I just got a copy and read it over the weekend,” Haslam said of the report (pdf). “For […]

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The Senate Finance Committee chairman says he hopes this will settle the matter of Amazon’s tax status and suggests that the overall online sales tax issue should go through the courts to be resolved nationally, because he believes Congress is unlikely to act to bring uniformity to the collection of state sales taxes.

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