Tag Archives: push

Haslam to Push Congressmen for Approval of Internet Sales Taxing

Gov. Bill Haslam says he’ll urge Tennessee’s congressmen to vote for the internet sales tax bill, reports Richard Locker. The bill faces a much tougher vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives than it did in passing the Democrat-controlled Senate on Monday.
Speaking to reporters after a book discussion at the small, independent Parnassus Books store (in Nashville), the governor said he’s already had conversations with some of the Tennessee House delegation and plans more. “I do think it’s critical for our state. We’re a sales tax driven state. We have folks — this bookstore — that are providing a product and collecting sales tax and other folks who are providing the same product and not collecting sales tax. And it’s not a new tax; it’s a tax that’s is owed right now but that people aren’t paying.”
…The National Conference of State Legislatures, which supports the bill, estimates that Tennessee lost $748 million in state and local sales taxes from internet sales last year….University of Tennessee economics professor William F. Fox, director of the UT Center for Business & Economic Research and a nationally recognized expert on internet sales taxes, said the issue has economic implications beyond taxation. “What we have today is an environment in which the way I buy something determines if I remit the tax. We are subsidizing out of state internet retailers at the expense of the bricks and mortar business in Germantown or on Beale Street. They’re harmed at the expense of a company operating out of Oregon.
“For our congressmen and women not to vote for this, they are saying they would rather advantage retailers out of state than allow our own retailers to compete on a level playing field,” Fox said. He said his research indicates that Walmart employs about five workers per $1 million in sales while Amazon employs one. “It tells us Amazon is really efficient but they don’t need people on a sales floor. I’m not arguing against Amazon. All I’m asking for is a level playing field.”
…Both of Tennessee’s U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, voted for the bill in the Senate, where it passed 69-27. But a survey of Tennessee’s House delegation by the Chattanooga Times Free on Monday found that only the two Democrats — U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen of Memphis and Jim Cooper of Nashville — support the bill while most of the seven Republicans haven’t decided and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, opposes it.
Haslam pointed to the bookstore he was standing in as an example of the unfair advantage out of state internet retailers have. The small store, co-owned by Nashville author Ann Patchett, employs 19 full and part time workers.
“And if you look around, Davis-Kidd and others used to be here, This is a prime example but it’s not just about books anymore,” the governor said. “I know people that buy their dishwashing detergent online now.”

Polling in Hall-Hancock House Race Has a Republican Push

A “push poll” is being conducted in the state’s 18th House District race between Rep. Steve Hall, the Republican incumbent, and Democrat Anthony Hancock, a former University of Tennessee and NFL football player.
From Georgiana Vines:
Both candidates said they did not know anything about the poll, which appears designed to help Hall based on the questions and the Republican strength in Knox County.
Such a poll has questions designed to persuade voters to vote for a specific candidate.
One person in the district who received it, who asked to be anonymous, said the first questions dealt with how the voter felt Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, all Republicans, were doing in office and which presidential candidate would get his or her vote in November.
The voter was asked if he or she would likely vote for Hall if he or she was a small-business owner, had voted for a balanced budget or voted to lower taxes on groceries. Hall recently retired as president of Interior Finishes Corp.
The Hancock questions were on whether it would matter to the voter that he is supporting President Barack Obama, a Democrat; if it mattered that Hancock was being investigated for campaign law violations; and that the same unions and special interest groups that support Obama are supporting Hancock.
…Drew Rawlins, executive director of the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, said Friday no complaints have been filed regarding Hancock’s campaign financing.
Hall said the poll was news to him.
“I haven’t heard about any of that stuff. I’ve never done any polling in any race I’ve been in. I can’t justify the cost. Things change too fast. What may be good today, tomorrow is irrelevant. For polling to be effective you have to do it often,” he said.
Hancock said the poll is “crazy.”
“It’s a ploy, I guess. It must be a fierce campaign. We haven’t got to early voting yet,” he said. Early voting begins Oct. 17 for the Nov. 6 election.
As for supporting Obama, “I support anybody who will be the right person. My campaign is not geared toward Barack Obama. It’s geared toward Anthony Hancock,” he said.