I frequently state that family businesses are the backbone of Tennessee. Yet, even as families struggle through the worst recession in 70 years, the Bredesen administration once again is proposing a new tax on family businesses.
The FONCE loophole is exploited by approximately 2,700 entities to shield more than $5 billion in commercial real-estate investment properties from corporate franchise and excise tax. On average, each of these tax shelters control more than $2 million worth of commercial investment property. In contrast, the median value of a single-family home in Nashville is about $170,000.
What's the takeaway? Working families struggling through the nation's weak economy still are paying their fair share of taxes. Meanwhile, Tennessee's wealthiest families don't pay a dime of business franchise or excise taxes on commercial real-estate investments. It's not fair -- and, frankly, it's not right.
Isn't it nice for Republicans that Odom, the House Democratic leader, makes their case for them on this issue? The difference is, Republicans have a philosophical opposition to taxing rich people. Odom just wants their campaign cash. Voters must be confused, wondering why it matters which party runs the legislature.