Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bredesen proposes Corporate welfare

Governor Bredesen is packing all sorts of goodies into the ominous Omnibus Bill which is being pushed through the General Assembly with as little notice as possible during the last weeks. He doesn't want to give taxpayers a break on their groceries but he sure wants to tax your propane grill gas and hand out tax funded welfare to corporations.


Among other provisions in the omnibus bill:

  • Providing banks a 10 percent credit against their franchise and excise taxes for contributions to the "Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund," previously announced by Bredesen. The fund will be operated through the Department of Economic and Community Development with a goal of providing working capital in "rural areas not quite ready for mainstream financing," Farr said.
  • A change in law to assure that some Subchapter S corporations must pay the state's excise tax when selling major assets at a profit. Farr said the provision closes a "loophole" in current law that has allowed some to avoid payments.
  • Subjecting sales of propane gas in small containers to the state sales tax. Another "loophole," Farr said, had allowed portable five-gallon propane containers to enjoy a tax break intended to cover only propane used for home heating.
  • Increasing the state fee charged on tire purchases from $1 per tire to $1.35 per tire. The money goes to cover the costs of disposing used tires, either in landfills or by recycling them into other products.
  • Restructuring the state's taxation of barges so that it is in line with the system used in other states.
  • Allowing more retailers to use electronic filing for their sales tax collections. Currently, the standard is an average of $5,000 in monthly collections. That will be lowered to $2,500.