Tennessee’s Senate speaker says he still wants to take another bite out of the state’s tax on stock earnings, despite his House counterpart doubting the issue will fly this year.
Speaker Beth Harwell told reporters last week reducing the so-called Hall tax isn’t likely this year, saying her chamber’s leadership is focusing on reducing taxes on inheritances and food, which were born out of Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislative priorities.
“I disagree with her on that issue, I guess,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told reporters after speaking at the Tennessee Municipal League’s annual conference in downtown Nashville Monday. “I think in the Senate we are still moving forward with it.”
The governor and lawmakers are also looking to eliminate the gift tax, Harwell said, and Ramsey said he’s on board with that if Haslam can find the money.
“It’s kind of somewhat of a last minute kind-of issue, simply because revenues are coming in more than they’re projected. So there may be a way of enacting some of these bills that the governor didn’t think we could the first of session, and now we can,” Ramsey said.
“That’s one of the governor’s ideas that I’ll be supportive of, but I don’t know exactly what he has in mind,” Ramsey said.
Haslam’s spokesman said the governor has heard from legislators about reducing the gift tax, but isn’t ready to commit to cutting it yet.
“He is always looking at ways to reduce taxes for Tennesseans. Eliminating the gift tax wasn’t part of his original budget proposal, and it’s premature to speculate on potential funding for this idea or any of the other numerous requests he is receiving.”