Lawmakers Propose Multiple Tax Legislation To Assist Tennesseeans At The Cash Checkout

Nashville, Tennessee (WKRN) — Tennessee lawmakers have introduced legislation that they think would benefit more Tennesseans’ finances in the future years.

With inflation remaining high, lawmakers hoped to lower taxes on commodities such as food, school supplies, diapers and formula, and even feminine hygiene products for Tennessee residents. Here are some of the legislation that lawmakers have introduced this session to aid shopping.

HB 972 / SB 741

This bill, introduced by two Memphis Democrats, would exclude feminine hygiene items from sales taxes during the state’s annual sales tax holiday. The sales tax holiday, which occurs yearly in the last week of July, allows school supplies and certain devices to be sold without paying sales tax.

According to the plan, the tax exemption would apply to tampons, pads, liners, cups, and douches.

HB 1637 / SB 1755

This bill, introduced by state Rep. Greg Martin (R-Hamilton County) and state Sen. Adam Lowe (R-Calhoun), would eliminate the sales tax on infant diapers, wipes, and formula for one year, beginning in July. This is the second of two proposals addressing the sales tax on newborn items; state Rep. Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville) proposed a similar measure in 2023.

He told News Channel 11’s affiliate station News 2 in 2023 that the bill was intended to provide “continuing relief” to Tennessee women and families in need of the supplies. Garrett’s bill was “taken off notice” in April 2023, which meant it was no longer under consideration.

Garrett’s plan would also have permanently exempted baby items from sales tax, whereas Martin’s bill would only free them for a year.

Martin’s bill has been pushed back into the 2024 budget cycle.

HB 1438 / SB 1522

Tennessee Democrats have proposed lowering the state sales tax rate on food items in exchange for a greater charge on tobacco products sold in the state.

State Rep. Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville) and state Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) introduced legislation that would eliminate the 4% state sales tax on food and raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco goods. The proposal would hike tobacco taxes from 3 cents to 8.35 cents per cigarette. It also proposes raising the tax on “other tobacco products” from 6.6% to 17% of the wholesale cost price.

The House version of the measure was assigned to the Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee earlier in February, but the Senate version was allocated to the General Subcommittee of the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee, thereby killing the bill for the session.

HB 2044 / SB 2323

State Rep. Monty Fritts (R-Kingston) and state Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) introduced another bill to reduce the tax burden on food items sold in grocery shops. Their measures would exempt all food and food ingredients eligible for the SNAP and WIC programs from state sales taxes.

According to state legislative records, the proposal would reduce state revenue by $147,864,100 in the following fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years.

The House version was placed behind the budget, which means it will not be considered until the general assembly approves a state budget.

HB 2413 / SB 2468

A bill on marijuana retail sales introduced by state Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville) and state Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) is unlikely to pass out of committee.

As introduced, the law would permit retail marijuana sales first, followed by a tax on those sales. The measure proposes a 12% tax on all retail cannabis sales.

The tax revenue would then be distributed to specific funds, including the general fund and for educational purposes: 20% of the tax revenue would be allocated to the general fund; 50% of the revenue would be “earmarked and allocated specifically and exclusively to educational purposes”; and the final 30% would be “credited to a special infrastructure account” that will be used to fund future projects identified as needed by the Tennessee advisory commission on intergovernmental affairs.

By Caleb Anderson

Caleb, a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling, has dedicated his career to bringing the latest news to the public. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to unbiased reporting, He navigates the dynamic world of journalism, covering a wide range of topics from local events to global issues. Caleb's insightful articles reflect his dedication to keeping readers informed and engaged in the ever-evolving landscape of news.

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