Armageddon for Tennessee? Neanderthals still waiting!

States with no state income tax

States with no state income tax.

Frank Cagle has a great column in the Metro Pulse commemorating the 10-year anniversary of Tennessee’s most recent defeat of the state income tax.  Cagle writes:

… someone ought to mark the occasion when almost the entire state political establishment, academia, and virtually all editorial writers were impatiently explaining to us Neanderthals that unless we passed a state income tax, the state was headed for financial collapse.

We were confidently told by University of Tennessee economists that the state tax structure could not support state government.


The income tax bill came to the House floor and was defeated.

Surely Armageddon would ensue.

Tennessee, 10 years on, has a current budget surplus of $600 million. The Legislature this past session eliminated the inheritance tax, the gift tax, and cut the rate of the sales tax on food. This year K-12 was fully funded and funds for higher education were increased. There will be an effort next year to eliminate the Hall income tax for those over 65, and possibly eliminate it altogether.

Name another state during this bad recession that has cut taxes. Around the country, state governments are in crisis. California cities are going bankrupt. Taxes are being raised to cover budget shortfalls.

When Tennessee state government was “starved for revenue” in 2002, the state budget was $20 billion. This coming year the budget is $31 billion.

Entire column here.

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