Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The $18,000 amendment

If all we have to do to make sure there is never an income tax in this State is pay $18,000-count me in:

Even more importantly than the digital divide, however, is the reality that those in this State who support an income tax will do everything they can to stop this amendment from coming to a free vote of the people because they know that it will pass and likely in an overwhelming fashion. If the text of the proposed anti-income tax amendment is not printed in the State's major metropolitan newspapers, income tax supporters will almost certainly sue to keep the amendment off the ballot. Senator Kelsey and other amendment supporters might eventually win that case, but when one considers how long it can take such a case to wind its way through the court system, it may be too late to vote on the amendment in a timely fashion, and Tennesseans may not get to ratify until 2018 at the earliest, since the Tennessee Constitution requires that two separate General Assemblies accept a constitutional amendment,the second time by two-thirds votes in both Houses, before the public can have their vote-which must coincide with a gubernatorial election. While the present political climate would allow for the Kelsey Amendment to pass a referendum easily, no one can predict what the political situation might be many years down the road.

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