NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The best way Tennessee’s small business owners can help state legislators and, ultimately, themselves, is to get more engaged in state politics, said state House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin.
Casada made those remarks Tuesday at the Cordell Hull State Office Building while addressing members of the NFIB: Small Business Association.
“For too many years conservatives and pro-business people have said ‘Government is a mess, I give up. I will run my business. I will take care of my family. That is what I’m going to do,’” Casada said.
“The problem is if you become disengaged with government it tends to creep into areas where it doesn’t belong. We need everyone in this room to be engaged and that means coming to the capitol like this and that means getting to know your legislator and holding them accountable.”
The NFIB represents about 6,000 independent business owners around the state, said Jim Brown, Tennessee director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Tennessee, Casada told the group, has made drastic improvements in its economy the past eight years, and people nationwide will likely soon consider it one of the nation’s best.
The NFIB, according to literature organizers handed out Tuesday, supports the state’s rainy day fund — “aggressively.”
“While it’s true the fund has never had as much money, we have 27 days of operating funds today, five fewer days than right before the Great Recession,” the literature said.
Members of the group also support a comprehensive business tax study to benchmark the state’s overall competitiveness and opportunities for improvement, the literature went on to say.
Also, as reported, if you own a small gym in Tennessee then state officials force you to pay what is called an amusement tax, and that’s especially bad for the state’s overall physical health, according to a business expert.
Large gym owners don’t have to pay this tax.
Small business owners must pass the higher costs of doing business down to their customers.
The tax amounts to about 10 percent, Brown said.
Tennessee officials used the amusement tax to take about $16 million out of the economy and put it in state coffers last year, Brown told The Star earlier this year.
The NFIB supports doing away with that tax.