Friday, May 8, 2009

Tax Modernization: Can a New Slogan Pass the Income Tax?

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2009 at 11:07 AM

click to enlarge oie_nashvillecapitol.jpg
The state budget is melting down, but don't worry. To the rescue comes Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, a few do-gooders with a lot of time on their hands. The group's Ron Naylor:
"Is it any wonder we're in this mess? The major portion of our state budget comes from the sales tax levied on products that people buy. We're in a recession, and in a recession people stop buying. No buying means no sales tax. A shortfall in taxes means cuts in important public structures from higher education to community health. We're at the end of our rope. ... To get out of this deepening recession, restore funds to education and other vital services, and gear up for an emergence into a decent economy, we need tax modernization."
All this is true, but hardly anyone cares. These Tennesseans for Fair Taxation appear at the Legislative Plaza periodically, handing out press releases and pulling little publicity stunts. No one even looks at them. It's like they don't exist. Legislators are too busy debating guns and abortion and home schooling to worry about funding schools and other important services. Tax reformers want to eliminate the food tax, lower sales taxes on everything else by 3 percent, and enact a graduated income tax. They've wanted to do this for at least 40 years. They're calling it tax modernization now rather than tax reform. The new slogan isn't helping.

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