Haslam Says State Can’t Afford Tax Cut This Year; Lawmaker Says They Can At Least Approve One For Later

Sen. Mark Green (left) wants to phase out the Hall income tax, but Gov. Haslam is skeptical, citing flagging state revenue. (Photo via Gov. Bill Haslam's flickr)

Sen. Mark Green (left) wants to phase out the Hall income tax, but Gov. Haslam is skeptical, citing flagging state revenue. (Photo via Gov. Bill Haslam’s flickr)

Gov. Bill Haslam isn’t sure the time is right to cut a tax on income from investments.  Lawmakers want to phase out what’s known as the Hall income tax.

Haslam says philosophically he’d love to cut taxes, but realistically, the state can’t afford another cut this year. “We’re going to be scrapping even to get to where we thought we would be” in terms of state revenue, Haslam says.

Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) says that’s not a problem, since the bill he’s pushing to gradually phase out the Hall income tax would only trigger in years when state revenue looks good.

“That’s the beauty of the way we worded the bill,” Green says. “If we don’t capture the revenue, we don’t do the cut.  We built that into the bill for just such eventualities.”

Green argues it makes sense to pass the bill now, even if that doesn’t actually mean cutting the tax until later.

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