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Bailey To Push For Sales Tax Equalization As New Legislative Session Begins

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Bailey To Push For Sales Tax Equalization As New Legislative Session Begins

State Senator Paul Bailey plans to advocate for the equalization of shared sales tax between local governments and the state as the new legislative session begins Tuesday.

Bailey said the portion of sales tax allocated to cities has been frozen since the state raised its collection percentage to seven percent. He said the state sales tax was raised in 2002 and the portion that cities are receiving does not reflect that increase.


Bailey said he met with Governor Bill Lee who challenged him to devise a plan that will account for counties as well as cities. Bailey said that with Upper Cumberland leaders holding state leadership positions, he is confident that the voice of the region will be heard.

“You have the Speaker of the House of Representatives representing about one-third of Putnam County, you have Representative Williams who is on the Finance Committee in the house, and then I chair the Commerce and Labor Committee,” Bailey said. “That means the Upper Cumberland has representation.”

The shared tax option for local governments still sits at some two percent, which remains based on the 5.5 percent the state collected before it was increased. He said cities are asking for equalization.

Local municipalities including Cookeville have pushed hard in recent years to get the additional sales tax funding.

He said he plans to push for funding for public programs like mental health and education, even with the state facing a budget shortfall.

“Tennessee constitution requires that we pass a balanced budget, so my goal is to try to make sure that we meet the needs of Tennesseans without having to reduce any services due to the loss of a large amount of revenue,” Bailey said.

Bailey said he plans to emphasize the need for accountability within the governor’s proposed school voucher program. He said in states that currently have a voucher program, only about five percent are currently taking advantage of it, leaving the vast majority of students still in public schools. He said the state’s constitution requires that free public education be available, so it is vital that quality public schools prevail.

“I’m for school choice, but I’m also for making sure that we fund public education at a level to ensure that all Tennessee students have a good education,” Bailey said.

He also said he expects heavy opposition to any anti-gun legislation that is proposed.


The post Bailey To Push For Sales Tax Equalization As New Legislative Session Begins appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.