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House passes tax cuts on groceries, estates

House passes tax cuts on groceries, estates

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 8:01 pm

NASHVILLE — The pocketbooks of all Tennesseans are getting help from the Legislature with the passage of two major tax cuts.
The House of Representatives Thursday overwhelmingly approved the repeal of the death tax and the reduction of the food tax on two separate votes. Both bills have long been a major priority for many members of the House Republican Caucus who believe the bills will help taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money and place Tennessee on better economic footing, a spokesman said.
“This is a landmark moment for Tennesseans,” said House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville. “We believe, when government revenues are higher, that money doesn’t belong to the state but to taxpayers and should be returned to them immediately. Our Republican majority was placed here to balance the budget, cut wasteful spending and lower taxes. Today (Thursday) we carried through on that promise.”
House Bill 3760, the death tax repeal, phases out the death tax over the next four years, to a complete repeal by 2016. House Bill 3761, the food tax cut, lowers the sales tax rate on food from the current 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent, the steepest reduction in years.
State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton said, “As a businessman who operates a family business, I know the challenges associated with burdensome taxes. The repeal of the death tax will help all small businessmen and the food tax cut will benefit every Tennessean.”
“As a farmer, I know how much the death tax hurts our family farms,” added state Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden. “The repeal of the death tax will benefit those of us who are committed to protecting the unique farming heritage of Tennessee. Additionally, the food tax cut is a move consistent with my principles to reduce wasteful government spending and return that money to the people.”
“Today (Thursday) is an exciting day. We looked at the numbers, rolled our sleeves up, and worked with Governor (Bill) Haslam to come up with two bills that will really benefit all Tennesseans. The repeal of the death tax is especially noteworthy because it will help convince the job creators in our State to remain here and help grow our economy. This doesn’t benefit one group; it benefits any Tennessean who is concerned about job growth,” said state Rep. Tim Wirgau of Buchanan.
The bills are now sent to the Senate for action which is expected to come in the next week.

Published in The Messenger 4.13.12