It’s time for state to share sales tax

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City mayors would like a little help from their friends, namely the legislators.
Mayors say its time to restore the historical sharing relationship between the state and municipalities by allowing municipalities to receive a share of all state sales tax collections flowing to the state jurisdiction on the purchase price of a single article.
It’s time to return millions in local-generated sales tax revenues to local governments to assist with the ever-increasing costs of providing essential services and promoting an environment that sustains the continued generation of state sales tax collections for the state’s general fund.
It’s time to provide relief to municipal taxpayers by returning millions in locally-generated sales tax collections to help to reduce pressures to increase the tax burden borne by local taxpayers in association with the generation of the state’s principal source of revenue.
At the Bruceton Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night, Mayor Bob Keeton said Bruceton’s share would be about $28,000 annually as it stands now with their sales tax numbers.
“The town could sure use that money for a lot of things,” he said.
In 2002, the State of Tennessee enacted a number of measures designed to increase state revenues and intended to stave off an impending budget crisis and avoid fiscal calamity. Two such measures altered the historic sharing relationship between the state and Tennessee’s municipalities.
The first measure involved altering the revenue sharing relationship with regard to an increase in the state sales tax rate from 6 percent to 7 percent. The second measure altered the historic revenue sharing relationship to allow the state to retain a portion of the sales tax revenues normally reserved for the local jurisdiction in which a sale occurs. The combined effect of these two measure has been to allow nearly $2 billion in sales tax revenues to accrue entirety to the benefit of the state’s general fund at the expense of municipalities and municipal taxpayers.
For 55 years, the state and its municipalities operated under a revenue sharing relationship first established in 1947, with the inception of a state sales tax. Under this relationship, commonly known as state-shared sales tax or SSST, the state returned 4.6 percent of the state’s total annual sales tax revenues designated for the general fund to the state’s municipalities.
The Tennessee Municipal League (TML) has legislation this year that would return these funds to the cities.
How about it State Senator John Stevens, Reps. Tandy Darby and Brock Martin who represent Carroll County and several more counties? Your vote for this legislation would be appreciated by all these towns who could sure use the money.
Senator John Stevens who spoke at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce’s Capitol Talk on Feb. 10 said the state was in the best financial shape of all times.
So legislators, do a good turn for the towns in your districts and across the state and vote for TML’s legislation.

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