Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bredesen's Tax Increase Proposal for Working Independent Families

Tennessee law allows for family-owned non-corporate entities to be exempt from corporate taxes on the land they owe. Governor Phil Bredesen's attitude about this speaks volumes about his opinion on the nature of government:

"It would be sinful to lay people off so these kinds of exemptions could be
preserved," Bredesen said.

The administration tried to do away with the tax break last legislative
session, but the effort ran into bipartisan opposition and was ultimately undone
because it was hard to determine how many businesses would be affected.

The governor had a more direct take on what happened to the proposal.
"It got mugged in the Legislature," he said.

Mugged? The General Assembly takes a second look at a proposal that would unfairly target thousands of Tennessee families who own small mom-and-pop businesses, and Bunker Phil says it was "mugged" because the Legislature (then controlled by Democrats) had the good sense to kindly let Bredesen know where he could put his rediculous proposal? Further, he blames the existence of this common-sense exemption for having to lay people off of the State rolls?

People are being removed from the State payroll in part because they need to be, and in an even larger part because of the Honorable Phil Governor's fiscal stupidity. The Governor was warned when he passed his precious tobacco tax increase that this and the other commodity tax increases in a year of great surplus would not help the State coffers, but might ultimately decrease them and lead to an eventual shortfall-but those of us who said this were deemed to be off of our rockers.

Remember the "trust issues" that Bredesen apparently has with House Democratic Leader Gary Odom? Apparently, these "trust issues" exist because Odom opposes this attempt to weaken family-owned business, not to mention family farms:

Bredesen's office last week announced it had developed "trust issues" with
House Majority Leader Gary Odom, a Nashville Democrat who voiced opposition to
the proposal during the session last year.

"The change in that tax policy dealing with family-owned businesses was
quite a surprise to me," Odom said, adding that he considered the proposal to be
a "significant change in tax policies."

The exemption for the 0.25 percent franchise tax on property values and 6.5 percent excise tax on income means the state is doing without $45 million it would be collecting if those businesses were not claiming an exemption.

Now we understand. The Honorable Phil Governor's "trust issues" with Gary Odom exist because Odom stood up to Bredesen and actually said what he thinks of the Governor's foolish economic policies. For once, Odom refused to embrace a policy that he knew was going to hurt Tennessee families that work for themselves and not the State.

Mark one down in the bipartisanship column. While I disagree with Odom on many issues, he has done Tennessee proud by standing for our families on the question of the Family-Owned Non-Commercial Entities exemption. For the good of our families, I hope Odom continues to stand his ground on the matter in the future.



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