The Tennessee campaign to end the unfair tax advantage online only retailers have over bricks and mortar stores is flexing its muscle.
On Thursday, the merchants group Alliance for Main Street Fairness held a coordinated media event in six cities – Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Oak Ridge and Johnson City – to discuss strategy and show off its political support.
The event featured telephone calls from Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander. Haslam supports a national solution to the sales tax question and Alexander is co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would end online retailers unfair advantage.
Tennessee is the 14th best state for taxes on business, according to the Tax Foundation’s look at state tax policies.
The 2012 State Business Tax Climate Index released Wednesday compares states on five different categories – major business taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and property taxes.
Not surprisingly, Tennessee’s ranks highest – 8th – in the income tax category and worst – 43rd – in the sales tax category. Tennessee does not tax individual wages or salaries. However, Tennessee’s combined state and local sales tax is the nation’s highest at 9.4 percent, the report says.
Comparing state business tax policy is important because a state’s biggest competition for new businesses comes from other states and not the threat of losing jobs to other countries, the report says.
Missed opportunities can haunt us all of our lives. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam had one of those moments yesterday.
Haslam had a chance Tuesday to come out in favor of legislation that would require Amazon.com to collect state sales taxes on Tennessee purchases after it opens a pair fullfillment centers near Chattanooga.
Tennessee’s tax-friendly reputation makes it one of the best states for retirees looking to reduce their tax burden, according to a report by Kiplinger.com.
“The Volunteer State is a very tax-friendly state. Tennessee has no broad-based income tax, so salaries, wages, Social Security benefits, IRA distributions and pension income are not taxed. But the state does levy a 6 percent tax on stock dividends and interest income from bonds and other investments,” the report says.