A bill — SB1247 — to repeal the state's occupational privelege tax on athletes (the so-called "jock tax") is on notice in the House and Senate finance committees for next week. Under a compromise, NHL players will stop paying the tax immediately, while NBA players will pay it for another two years, according to WPLN.
While a number of states and cities have special taxes on professional athletes, Tennessee's is considered one of the highest in the country, in part because players pay it as a flat fee — $2,500 per game, capped at three games, regardless of salary.
The NHL players' union had threatened to sue the state, though currently the players themselves aren't actually paying the tax. As part of an agreement in the collective bargaining agreement signed to end last season's lockout, NHL players are reimbursed by the league for payment. An article in the Marquette Sports Law review explains why the jock tax might be unconstitutional.
While the tax is collected by the state, it passes through the sports authorities of Memphis and Nashville to be distributed to the Grizzlies and Predators to recruit events to the FedEx Forum and Bridgestone Arena.
Sen. Jack Johnson, who has been on the forefront of the movement to repeal or change the tax, said the owners of the Memphis Grizzlies have fought harder against the repeal than have the Predators. The fiscal note on the bill says the impact will be about $3.6 million to the two cities combined.
NFL players have always been exempted from the jock tax.
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.