The Lebanon City Council is pondering raising the city's property tax rate to 61 cents per $100 of assesssed value from 34.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. Lebanon City Mayor Philip Craighead favors the hike. Janet Kim and NewsChannel5.com have the story here.
Kane wants a piece of Ron Ramsey:
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is being challenged to a debate on the Internet Sales Tax by professional WWE wrestler and anti-tax activist Glenn Jacobs. In a blog post today Glenn Jacobs (stage name Kane) criticized the Lt. Governor for pushing the Internet sales tax and called for a debate on the topic at the Lt. Governor’s convenience.
“Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey claims that the Internet sales tax mandate is not a new tax. Nor, according to Ramsey, is it an unfair tax. Ramsey is wrong on both counts.” Glenn writes. “ I, therefore, invite Lt. Gov. Ramsey for a policy debate on the issue of the Marketplace Fairness Act in a public forum at his convenience.”
In recent weeks Glenn Jacobs has been appearing in various media outlets advocating against the national Internet sales tax mandate with appearances on nationally syndicated terrestrial radio, satellite radio, and local radio stations in Tennessee. Jacobs has written multiple blog posts and op-ed pieces against the national Internet sales tax mandate.
Earlier this week the TN Campaign for Liberty challenged Lt. Gov Ramsey to show he had paid the obscure TN Use Tax for his online purchases after he called the vast majority of Tennesseans “criminals” for not paying it.
The national Internet sales tax mandate will likely come up for a vote in the US House of Representatives later this year. The bill is titled “Marketplace Fairness Act” and is being opposed by the Campaign for Liberty, eBay, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Freedomworks, the Heartland Institute, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and many other conservative figures.
Glenn Jacobs lives with his family in Jefferson City, Tennessee and is a co-founder of the Tennessee Liberty Alliance. Mr. Jacobs is a critic of big government and a professional wrestler with the WWE.
Corrections Corp. of America is front and center in a Sunday New York Times story about the growing corporate trend of converting from a standard corporation to a real estate investment trust.
The Nashville-based prison operator (Ticker: CXW) expects to save $70 million on a REIT conversion in 2013 and recently announced a $675 million special dividend payout to shareholders, or about $6.63 per share.
One industry analyst tells the Times the interest in REIT conversion is the highest it’s been in 30 years. Another analyst says he expects more conversions to come in railroads, highways, mines, landfills, vineyards, farmland or other immovable structures that generate revenues.
The tax savings and potential benefit to shareholders of REIT conversions can’t be denied, but the trend worries some industry experts. Some think it could jeopardize the tax status of traditional trusts, while others question the need for more tax-saving strategies for corporations when there are already so many available.
The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday morning voted unanimously in favor of the Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013, the push launched early this year by craft brewers seeking to overhaul the fiscal regime that is based on price, not volume. Next up this afternoon is a vote by the House Finance Committee. A full floor vote could come as early as next week.
Now this is clever enough to make us want to quaff a cold one or two. Nashville-based Yazoo Brewing and fine folks at Calfkiller Brewing out Cumberland Plateau way have teamed to create some humor highlighting Tennessee's progressive beer tax.
From the Yazoo Facebook page:
We bottled "The Beacon – a TN High Tax Ale" today – our collaboration brew with the guys from Calfkiller Brewing! That's the good news. The bad news? The label is taking longer than we expected to be approved by the Feds so we can't get them labelled and out to you yet."
SEE ALSO: Group launches push to reform beer tax
Friday was progressing nicely for investors in Middle Tennessee's most prominent retail stocks, which like much of the market were buoyed a better-than-expected consumer sentiment report. Then Bloomberg broke the story that Wal-Mart's February-to-date sales have, in the words of one executive, been "a total disaster" and "one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do."
And poof, there went the good vibes and a lot of people were set to spend the weekend fretting (again) about consumer spending post-tax hikes. Not surprisingly, Dollar General shares suffered the most among the locals, giving up more than 4 percent in the space of a few minutes and sliding some more into the close. But Tractor Supply, Genesco and Cracker Barrel also took their lumps.
For more on Wal-Mart's sales and what they say about the broader economy, check out the discussion on Friday's Options Action on CNBC.