Gov. Bredesen says no state income tax if he's re-elected - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gov. Bredesen says no state income tax if he's re-elected

Gov. Phil Bredesen told Nashville business leaders that he would not seek a state income tax if re-elected in 2006, extending a pledge he made for his current term.

"I'm not interested in an income tax in a second term," Bredesen told reporters following a speech to the Nashville Rotary Club. "I don't think you need it. ... I don't think one is warranted and, frankly, I don't intend to propose one."

When asked if that meant he was ruling out his support for a state income tax during his second term, he said, "That's what I'm saying," The Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

"In answer to all the people who say, 'Oh, I know what you're doing. You're just waiting 'til your second term.' I'm just saying: No, that's not right," Bredesen said. "I'm more convinced today than when I took office that it's not needed."

The statement was criticized by at least one group seeking to lower state sales taxes and enact an income tax.

"If in fact he is ruling out tax reform for his second term, we would feel that is shortsighted and unfortunate as he's limiting the ability of the state to respond to future needs," said Brian Miller, executive director of Tennesseans For Fair Taxation.

The state Republican Party accused the Democrat of seeking political mileage for his re-election campaign by coming out early against an income tax.

Bredesen has repeatedly said that he doesn't think a state income tax is necessary, which he first declared during a debate during his 2002 campaign for office. He refused to make the same promise for his second term at the time.

Tennessee is one of nine states without a standard state income tax, although it does collect revenue from dividends and interest.

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