Tenn. to Decide State Income Tax Question

     (CN) – Tennessee currently has no income tax, and a constitutional amendment could make that permanent.
     Amendment 3 will be on ballots statewide Nov. 4. Supporters say it will attract business to Tennessee, but the opposition says it will only worsen income inequality.
     The proposed amendment states: “The legislature shall not levy, authorize or otherwise permit any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income.”
     Vote No on 3 campaign director Brian Miller said a permanent ban on state income tax could lead to double-digit sales tax down the road.
     “We don’t know what’s going to happen 30 or 40 years from now. When you write something in the constitution it’s forever,” Miller told CN. “If we paint ourselves into a corner, the only option left for Tennessee is going to be a double-digit sales tax on food and other necessities.”
     Miller said a potentially higher sales tax is bad for both working class families and business.
     “It drives shoppers over state lines and into neighboring states and onto the Internet,” he said. “That costs us jobs and hurts Tennessee’s local businesses.”
     By contrast, the conservative Beacon Center of Tennessee says the potential reinstatement of a state tax income could lead to the “utter destruction of our economy.” “[Amendment 3] will ensure that Tennessee will forever remain income tax-free, despite whatever harebrained tactics politicians and special interests might otherwise try,” reads a statement on their website.
     The Beacon Center did not immediately return a request for comment.

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