Lee Signs Budget Appropriations Bill That Includes $500 Million for New Tennessee Titans Stadium

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an appropriations bill that includes $500 million toward a new Tennessee Titans stadium on Wednesday.

The bill is part of a $52.8 billion budget for the state. The $500 million in bonds for the domed stadium will require $55 million in annual payments.

Read More

Governor Lee Proposes 30-Day Suspension of State and Local Grocery Sales Tax

On Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced in a press release his proposal for a 30-day suspension of state and local grocery sales tax to provide “direct financial relief to Tennesseans amid surging inflation nationwide.”

Read More

Connecticut Lawmakers Clash on Tax Policy at Hearing

At a Connecticut General Assembly hearing Thursday, state lawmakers clashed on visions of tax policy, with Republicans pressing for sales-tax reduction and Democrats advocating a mix of tax increases and targeted relief.

According to the nonprofit Tax Foundation, 12.8 percent of Connecticut residents’ income goes to government coffers, making the combined state and local tax take the second-highest in the U.S., just behind New York’s 14.1 percent overall burden.

Read More

Virginia General Assembly Off to Slow Start as Committees Evaluate Legislation, Youngkin Cabinet Picks

RICHMOND, Virginia – Most of the action in the General Assembly is occurring in committees as legislators decide which bills will survive to be voted on by the full Senate and House of Delegates. House Republicans have advanced some key bills on local gun control repeals, elections reform, and school misdemeanor reporting. Senate Democrats have advanced some key bills, but much of their work has been in killing Republican-introduced legislation.

“What has not surprised me is there has been a conspicuous partisan divide with Democratic pushback against Governor Youngkin’s agenda, particularly in the area of tax reform and education reform, and masks,” Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) told The Virginia Star.

Read More

Pennsylvania State Rep. Sturla Pitches New Sales Tax for Local Purposes

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to allow counties to enact a 1% sales tax that local municipalities can use to shore up pension obligations, maintain core services or put to other uses.

State Rep. Michael Sturla, D-Lancaster, spelled out the proposal in a legislative memorandum.

Read More

Georgia Counties Will Push for Expansion of Sales Tax

Georgia counties are asking lawmakers to expand the state sales tax during the 2022 legislative session to reduce their dependency on property taxes.

The ACCG, an advocacy group for Georgia’s counties, is calling on the General Assembly to tax Georgians for digital products such as videos and music, often purchased through a streaming service.

Read More

New Georgia Laws Address Juvenile Justice, Sales Tax on Vehicles, Medical Transactions

Three Georgia laws go into effect at the start of the new year that impact juvenile justice, sales tax on vehicles and medical transactions.

House Bill 63 changes the way the fair market value of a vehicle is estimated. The value of a car will be calculated as the total depreciation, lease amortized amounts and down payments. Fair market value is how much a vehicle is worth for sale. The new bill excludes interest or finance charges in base or down payments.

Senate Bill 80 is aimed at improving medical billing transparency. It requires insurers to disclose their prior authorization policies online. The prior authorization process calls for health care providers to contact the insurer before providing a particular service to ensure it would be covered under a patient’s plan. It adds another layer of health care approval that critics said could prolong care.

Read More

Missouri Legislators Want to End Sales Tax On Guns, Food, Diapers in 2022 Session

Missouri State Capitol

If the number of bills submitted in the Missouri House of Representatives and the Senate is any indication, lots of time will be devoted to debating taxes during the next legislative session starting Jan. 5, 2022.

Approximately 10% of the 1,020 bills filed contain the word “tax” in the description. Senators filed about 40 bills and joint resolutions while representatives filed approximately 60.

More than 50 bills cover taxation and general revenue.

Read More

Gov. Evers, Others Pan Proposal to Eliminate Wisconsin Income Tax

There is a growing list of people and groups who are not fans of the idea to scrap Wisconsin’s personal income tax.

Former Gov. Scott Walker, University of Wisconsin economist Noah Williams, and a host of conservative reform groups on Thursday proposed eliminating Wisconsin 6.27% personal income tax and replacing the lost revenue with a slight increase in the state’s sales tax.

Walker, and Williams’ analysis, say most Wisconsin taxpayers will save about $1,700 a year with that swap.

Read More

Commission Passes School Upgrade Funding Recommendations to Virginia General Assembly

Virginia’s Commission on School Construction and Modernization recommended actions for the General Assembly and the Governor to take to help fund upgrades and new construction in schools.

A June report to the Commission found that 41 percent of school divisions are at or above capacity, and 29 percent are nearing capacity. More than half of school buildings are over 50 years old, and divisions in Western Virginia, Southwest, and Southside have the oldest buildings with a median age of 58 years.

Read More

Bipartisan Bills Would Eliminate Michigan Sales Tax on Vehicle Rebates

row of cars

The Michigan Senate will consider legislation to eliminate sales and use taxes from automotive manufacturer rebates, which could save new car buyers in the state an estimated $31 million annually.

House Bills 4939 and 4940 passed the Michigan House earlier this week. The bipartisan bills were sponsored by Reps. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, and Joe Tate, D-Detroit.  The bills aim to take new vehicle customers off the hook for paying taxes on automotive manufacturer discounts.  

Currently, Michigan car buyers incur a tax obligation for the full price of the vehicle they purchase, and no deductions are allowed for rebates offered by manufacturers. The bills under consideration would exempt rebates from state sales and use taxes.

Read More

Danville Approves Sales Tax Increase, Pittsylvania’s Sales Tax Increase Hangs in the Balance

Danville voters resoundingly approved a referendum for a one percent sales tax increase to pay for school renovation projects 60.43 percent to 39.57 percent according to unofficial results. But their neighbors in Pittsylvania County may have barely killed a similar proposal; the sales tax referendum is losing by just 44 votes out of 25,404 — 0.18 percent. Elections officials are still counting mail-in ballots, according to Pittsylvania County Schools (PCS) Superintendent Mark Jones.

He said elections officials think there are more than 44 outstanding ballots, and final results will be certified Friday.

Read More

School Construction and Renovation on the Ballot Across Virginia

School construction and renovation projects are on the ballot in local funding referenda across the Commonwealth. Voters in six localities will decide whether to approve taking on debt for the projects. In Danville and neighboring Pittsylvania County, they’ll vote on instituting one percent sales taxes to help fund the local projects.

“It’s very typical,” Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) said. “Localities are allowed to issue public indebtedness in order to build schools. And typically, in order to bind the taxpayer with what’s called a general obligation bond, they have to go to a referendum. I’d say ordinarily most school systems have a referendum eight to ten years. Now, smaller jurisdictions, like where I live in Fairfax City, which is 25,000 people, it usually is less likely to go to a referendum unless you’re building a new school altogether, otherwise they’ll typically pay for these projects out of operating funds.”

Read More

Proposed Law Would End Ohio Sales Tax on Guns, Ammunition, Knives

Sales tax would no longer be collected on guns, ammunition and knives in Ohio if a bill planned for introduction in the state House of Representatives becomes law.

State GOP Rep. Al Cutrona recently announced he will introduce legislation that would exempt those items from sales tax, saying the move would help make gun, ammunition and knife retailers and manufacturers more competitive with neighboring states.

Read More

July Ushers in Georgia Income Tax Cut, New Business Incentives

Person writing on paper with pen

New laws that will cut income taxes for Georgians and increase tax incentives for businesses go into effect Thursday with the start of a new fiscal year.

Dubbed the Tax Relief Act of 2021, House Bill 593, raises the standard deduction on state income tax returns for a single taxpayer by $800 to $5,400 and by $1,100 to $7,100 for a married couple filing a joint return, starting in the 2022 tax year.

HB 593 created the second tax cut of its kind in three years. It will cut income taxes by more than $600 million collectively over the next five years. The Georgia Legislature doubled the state’s standard deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Georgia in 2018.

Read More

Price Jump for Used Cars Results in Boost in Michigan Sales Tax Collected

Close up of a line of cars

The microchip shortage responsible for bottlenecking the production of new cars has been a boon for the used car market.

However, the lack of available new vehicles also has created a greater demand and thus a scarcity of quality used vehicles.

This has driven up the cost of used cars and trucks, which has also increased the sales tax collected on used vehicle transactions. The national average increase in used car sales prices is 16.8% or $3,926 per vehicle sold.

Read More

Minnesota House Approves Legal Marijuana; Dead Upon Arrival in Senate

green cannabis plant

The Minnesota House voted 72-61 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and expunge minor marijuana convictions.

The Senate leader, however, designated the bill dead upon arrival.

“The war on drugs is a failed policy,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said. “The harms caused by current cannabis laws cannot be allowed to continue. Minnesota’s illegal cannabis market creates bad outcomes for everyone. Responsible regulations and safeguards to prevent youth access are a better solution to address the harms our current laws fail to address.”

Read More

DeSantis Signs E-Fairness Bill

Just before midnight Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 50 instituting sales tax requirements for online retailers, into law. 

The bill requires out-of-state online retailers to collect and report sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians. The tax will bring in an estimated $1 billion in revenue, as well as limit taxes paid by Floridians and Florida businesses.

Read More

‘Copeland Cap’ Hits Decade-Long High in Fiscal Year 2019-2020

A bill passed by the Tennessee General Assembly last week reveals that in fiscal year 2019-2020 the Copeland Cap, at $629 million or 3.6 percent, hit its highest level in more than a decade.

The legislation, which passed as HB2819 in both chambers on March 19 with only one “no” vote by Democrat Representative G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis), was one of the four bills addressed in an expedited fashion to enact a bare bones budget before lawmakers recessed until June 1 amid the COVID-19 health crisis, The Tennessee Star reported.

Read More

States With Higher Taxes Lose Population While States With Lower Taxes, Like Tennessee, Gain Population

News flash: People move out of states with high tax burdens, more regulations and fewer jobs to states with fewer taxes and regulations and more jobs. The former tend to be in Democratic-controlled states, while the latter tend to be in Republican-controlled states. That report comes last week from Mark…

Read More

Nashville Metro Council Plays Shell Game With Transit Costs

The Metro Council voted Tuesday to not disclose the true cost of Mayor Megan Barry’s light rail transit plan to voters on the May 1 referendum. Metro Councilmembers John Cooper and Tanaka Vercher had asked that the May ballot language include the full $9-billion-dollar costs. They proposed the amendment that Metro…

Read More

Nashville Would Tie For Highest Sales Tax In Nation Under Mayor Barry’s Transit Plan

From apparel to zip-up kitchen bags, merchandise sold in Nashville would bear some of the highest sales tax in the nation if the backers of the city’s proposed light rail system have their way, a PAC says. NoTax4Tracks is the PAC opposing the May 1 referendum in Nashville/Davidson County on…

Read More

Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson Proposes Sales Tax Hike To Help Fund Schools

  Williamson County is scrambling to fund its fast-growing school district, and County Mayor Rogers Anderson said this week that raising the sales tax is a way to help get the job done. Anderson made his pitch Wednesday in delivering his annual State of the County address during a Williamson, Inc.…

Read More