Senator files amendment to ban TN income tax permanently

Senator files amendment to ban TN income tax permanently

(WMC-TV) - Tennesseans may not pay state income taxes, but Germantown Senator, Brian Kelsey, wants to put a nail in that coffin.

"This is the way that we bring businesses to Tennessee.  This is how we bring jobs here, by having a low-tax environment," said TN State, R-Germantown, Senator Brian Kelsey.

Kelsey filed an amendment that would change the state constitution to explicitly prohibit any state or local taxation of payroll, earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income.

"It would say that we would never have an income tax in Tennessee again," said Kelsey.

Kelsey picked the perfect time to make the move.
Last Tuesday, voters turned the Tennessee Legislature into a Republican supermajority - giving the GOP complete power of both the House and Senate.

Wednesday, Kelsey filed his amendment.

"I'm excited we have a Republican supermajority, but on this particular issue of the income tax, we had bipartisan support," said Kelsey.

It's no easy task to change the Tennessee Constitution.

It takes a minimum of four years, which means a senator can be voted out of office in that time.

"It is very difficult to amend the state constitution.  It requires that we pass constitutional amendments one time in the legislature, and then we have to have an election and then we have to pass it a second time for step two in the process," said Kelsey.

Kelsey's amendment passed handily last year, and it goes back to the legislature Jan.10.

Step three: The voters will likely have at it in two years.

Kelsey says this would close the door on the income tax battle forever.