Legislators pass ‘jock tax’ repeal to governor

Lawmakers in both chambers scored an easy layup Monday night, approving a heavily lobbied bill repealing the so-called “jock tax” on NHL and NBA athletes who play here.

Democrats in the House argued the legislation would target Memphis and Nashville where the state’s effected sports teams reside. The tax for hockey players would disappear immediately once the governor signs the bill and linger for two years for basketball players. The tax does not apply to NFL players.

"We're giving tax breaks to millionaires. It's no wonder we're in the situation we're in," said Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, voicing opposition to the bill in light of the state's budget woes.

Professional hockey and basketball athletes who play in Tennessee currently are on the hook for $2,500 per game and up to $7,500 a year. The money is deposited in municipal funds but is ultimately funneled back to team owners to bring events to their facilities. It does not go to the state.

"What we're doing is taking a little bit of money away from zillionaires that don't need it and letting athletes keep it," said House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga.

The legislation is the result of a year and a half of negotiation, officials said. A similar bill failed to make headway last year, although it passed the House on a partisan 66-25 vote and a 30-2 vote in the Senate Monday night.

For lawmakers opposed to the bill, it came down to a repeal that meddles with local control while leaving elected officials out of the negotiations. Metro officials said they have no position on the bill although House Minority Leader Mike Turner, a Nashville Democrat, said the Metro Council has asked lawmakers to oppose the bill.

The bill's next stop is the governor's office.

Apr 8, 2014 7:44 AM

NFIB endorses Duvall, Dickerson

The Tennessee chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business has endorsed Metro Councilman Robert Duvall in the 59th House District race.

Duvall, a Republican who represents District 33 on the council, is facing Democrat Sherry Jones, who has held the state House seat since 1995.

“Robert Duvall is the advocate small business owners in House District 59 sorely need because he understands bigger government dampens free enterprise and job creation,” Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee, said in a release.

NFIB/Tennessee SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, which is comprised exclusively of NFIB members, made the endorsement.

In addition, NFIB has endorsed Republican Steve Dickerson in the race for the 20th Senate District. Dickerson will face Democrat Phillip L. North.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Sep 6, 2012 10:19 AM

Baby Daddy Drama: Campfield Spars With Another Colleague Over Paternity Bill

As was reported by Tom Humphrey over the weekend, Rep. Stacey Campfield has once again ignited some fireworks in a state legislative committee on Wednesday of last week. Just like last year's famous standoff with Rep. Rob Briley, at issue was Campfield's bill, HB 805, dubbed the "Baby Daddy Bill" which would allow a mechanism for paternity be disestablished in the event that a conclusive DNA test proves a previously assumed parent is not the biological father. Rep. Jeanne Richardson raises some concerns about the bill and whether legislation is necessary. Richardson seems to be saying that the bill makes her uncomfortable because it presupposes some mass distrust of women and that there simply aren't that many cases women deliberately attempting to defraud the men in their lives about offspring to justify codification in law. Aunt B. somewhat similarly delves into the psychology that could be behind this legislation engaging in speculation about Campfield's past interactions with women. My question about all this is: so what? Let's say Rep. Stacey Campfield is as demented as Aunt B. projects that he is. Let's say further that we concede that a very large majority of women are not attempting to defraud men who they have slept with and that most cases of inaccurate paternity are honest mistakes by virtuous women. Lets also concede that most all these cases are very rare exceptions from the norm. So what? The question at hand is: should a man be forced to pay for a child not of his line once that fact has been determined? If the answer is no then should not the law afford these men the protect they deserve regardless of the rarity of these instances and morally upstanding nature the women involved? If the legislation would do nothing objectively "wrong" then what does the motivation for filing such legislation have to do with anything? The legislation is either just or unjust, right or wrong? Right?
Mar 16, 2009 2:22 PM
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Preliminary candidate lists rolling in

UPDATED with candidate names for U.S. Senate, House and school board as well as more than 20 State House races of interest
Apr 3, 2008 12:51 PM

Legislators moving on to General Election

Three State Representives were up for county seats yesterday; two won their primaries
May 3, 2006 10:29 AM

'NashvillePost.com' exclusive: Torrence suspends supervisors over campaign improprieties

[UPDATED 1:19pm with audio from secret recording] Criminal Court Clerk David Torrence, who faces an election in less than three weeks, takes action after learning from 'NashvillePost.com' about secret recordings in which managers threaten staff with loss of jobs for failing to meet campaign quotas.
Apr 22, 2006 8:08 PM