NASHVILLE, TN Opinions are mixed whether a state income tax is legal or even constitutional in Tennessee.
A senator from Germantown set out Tuesday to clear up the issue once and for all, leading colleagues on the other side of the aisle to accuse him of grandstanding.
Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown addressed the Senate Finance Committee. His proposal, to make sure income and payroll taxes are strictly prohibited in Tennessee.
Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis calls it a stunt.
His measure would also clarify a city or county “cannot enact any tax that’s not specifically authorized by the Constitution and the legislature.”
But, Sen. Kyle believes his colleague’s priorities are out of order.
“We’ve got people who don’t have jobs. We’ve got roads that are not being maintained as they need to be and a higher education system that is slipping into the abyss and we’re up here putting on a show.”
Senator Kesley’s proposal passed in the Senate Finance Committee 7-3 and says with 15 co-sponsors, he’s optimistic he’ll get it through the Senate as a whole.
He is asking for a constitutional amendment. To do that in Tennessee is a lengthy process and, if all hurdles are jumped, the measure would appear on ballots, at the earliest, in 2014