Thursday, July 4, 2024

Tennessee lawmakers divided on business tax cut as session nears close • Tennessee Lookout

In Tennessee, lawmakers are still working to reach an agreement on Governor Bill Lee’s $1.9 billion business tax cut proposal. The main points of contention are the number of years of refunds to offer and a transparency requirement in the House version of the bill.

The proposed tax cut would eliminate the property portion of the state’s franchise tax, resulting in $410 million in annual lost revenue for the state. Lawmakers are divided on the issue, with the House version offering 1-2 years of refunds and the disclosure of refund recipients, while the Senate version includes three years of refunds but does not require disclosure.

Governor Lee introduced the corporate tax cut due to concerns about a potential lawsuit over the legality of the franchise tax. While experts have differing opinions on this matter, Democrats have suggested an alternative proposal that they believe could address the legal question without resulting in lost revenue.

During the legislative process, Governor Lee criticized the House version for its disclosure requirement, stating that private tax information should not be made public. He has also refrained from commenting on whether his business, The Lee Company, would benefit from the proposed tax cut and refunds.

Despite the differences between the House and Senate versions, lawmakers have formed a conference committee to reconcile their differences. The committee recently met publicly, with Senate lawmakers expressing more optimism about the bill’s passage than their House counterparts.

Overall, the fate of Governor Lee’s tax cut proposal remains uncertain as lawmakers continue to debate the specifics of the bill. Stay tuned for updates on this evolving situation.

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