Monday, March 23, 2009

Bredesen Backs Republicans into Tax Corner with Budget

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 7:48 AM

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Gov. Phil Bredesen is hemming in Republicans by including a provision in his budget to close the tax loophole for so-called family owned non-corporate entities, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. That means Republicans will have to cut $25 million somewhere if they don't want to eliminate the FONCE exemption. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey: "Obviously, I'm disappointed. I also know the box they will have put us in." The governor makes his budget recommendation tonight and, with nearly $5 billion in federal stimulus money, it's unlike any ever presented before. The Commercial Appeal lays out the beneficiaries:
Some provisions are obvious: $1.1 billion for TennCare health services; $608 million for food stamp benefits; $573 million for highway and bridge construction and maintenance; more than $80 million for unemployment and various job-training programs; $133 million for public and private housing and homelessness programs.

An additional $25 a week in unemployment benefits and a time extension for jobless pay went into effect last week.

But elements of the massive federal programs will affect far more people than the economically distressed. The federal package contains nearly $1.3 billion in funding over two years for education, with about $500 million earmarked for specific purposes and $775 million that isn't.

More budget coverage: Tennessean ... WTVF ... WVLT ... WPLN ... Associated Press.

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