Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting State Income Tax

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By Andrew M. Ballard

RALEIGH, N.C.--A proposed amendment to Tennessee's Constitution that would prohibit state or local income and payroll taxes (S.J.R. 1) received final approval by the state Legislature April 8.

Both the House and Senate during two consecutive legislative sessions have now approved the proposed amendment, so it will go before voters during the November 2014 elections. The measure does not require approval by the governor.

According to state Rep. Glen Casada (R), House sponsor of the Senate joint resolution, the move was needed to clarify a constitutional ban. Tennessee currently does not impose a state income tax other than on stock and bond earnings, but the state Constitution does not expressly prohibit or authorize a state income tax.

In addition to banning a state income tax, the constitutional amendment would prohibit local taxation of payroll or earned personal income.

By Andrew M. Ballard

Text of the income tax resolution (S.J.R. 1) is at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/108/Bill/SJR0001.pdf.

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