Oct 6 2012
01:22 am

Reform or Status Quo?

Taxes. Tennessee ranks highest among all 50 states in a new study of state and local sales taxes according to the nonpartisan research organization - The Tax Foundation. In fact, according to their study, Tennessee has the highest combined state and local sales tax rate with an average of 9.43 percent. (link...)

Existing Tax Holidays. Since 2006, Tennessee has held its sales tax holidays during the first week of August for clothing, school supplies, and computers. The holiday last for three days. During a few select years the sales tax holidays have also taken place in April; however that hasn’t happened for the last several years.

Economic Impact of Tax Holidays. According to Vanderbilt University Economist, Malcolm Getz - "What the consumer saves on taxes reduces government spending, so the net effect is zero." Reference - The Tennessean.

Current Grocery Tax. The state sales and use tax rate on sales of food and food ingredients is currently at 5.25% plus the applicable local sales and use tax rate. Prepared food, dietary supplements, candy, alcoholic beverages and tobacco continue to be subject to the general state sales and use tax rate of 7% plus the applicable local sales and use tax rate. There has been much debate and some progress on lowering the tax on food; however, Tennesseans still pays amongst the highest combined sales taxes on food in the entire nation.

Learning from the Past to Improve the Future. I remember how my mother and grandmother bought groceries; they used the freezer and pinched pennies whenever they could. I remember them stocking up on non-perishables, while buying the perishable fruits, vegetables, bread and milk weekly and only buying meat once a week, if even then. Your family was more than likely just like mine. These are Tennessee traditions, our values.

Reform. I would propose legislative reform that would allow a semi-annual 3-day Holiday on the Grocery Sales Tax for food and food ingredients from the 5.25% rate to 0%. This proposed Sales Tax Holiday on Groceries could help families plan for their future while saving money on their taxes. This proposal would be another bold step in the right direction; not the ending point.

Status Quo. What has Ken Calfee proposed? Vague generalities. The election is right around the corner. It’s time for Kent Calfee to provide specifics. Who is Kent Calfee? What is Kent for? He has proven that he’s not willing to debate for anyone to find out.

Unveiled! I hope voters realize that Kent has always been for the status quo, even though he's trying to re-invent himself and seems to think that the opportunity to represent you is a foregone conclusion. I ask you to stand with me against the status quo. We can reform the government to make it work for the people and the economy.

My leadership in the community is not just campaign fodder. I am a candidate that cares deeply about my fellow citizens. I am ready to work for you. I am ready to discuss the issues. I am accessible. I am ready to lead.

I ask for your vote.


Vote New, Jack McNew
Vote New in 32

A start

A sales tax holiday on food would be a start, but we need a permanent repeal on food. Many people live in apartments or small homes and don't have the space to store large amounts of food staples. Also, freezers are expensive, people on limited income cannot afford them.
Baby steps, I understand that, but we need to work toward a full repeal of sales tax on food.

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