HELPING THE UNEMPLOYED FIND WORK
“It takes a prosperous economy to create jobs and help those less fortunate find work. Our goal is every Tennessean using his or her gifts and abilities to the fullest so they can realize their American Dream.” – Senator Mark Green, MD
While Tennessee has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the past few years, we continue with an unemployment rate higher than the national average. This is partly due to the net migration of over 282,000 people into Tennessee. This means leaders in Tennessee must do more.
STEP ONE – CONTINUED PHASE OUT OF THE HALL INCOME TAX
In 2016 Senator Green carried and passed the legislation that sunset the Hall Income Tax. The tax is a true jobs killer and hurts our senior citizens. The tax is a disincentive to retirees making their home in Tennessee which means a loss of demand for services and thus jobs. Further, business starters and job creators avoid Tennessee because they would not have to pay the tax in states like Florida or Texas. We need to continue to phase out this tax with a cut over at least one percent each year through 2022.
STEP TWO – FIX THE EXCISE AND FRANCHISE TAX
Tennessee’s excise tax is based on a complicated formula that penalizes in-state businesses from growing. It’s hard to believe, but under the current tax law, if a Tennessee-based company adds to its payroll, it has to pay more tax. However, if it locates a new facility with new payroll just across the border, those taxes are not due. We are forcing Tennessee companies to grow outside Tennessee, taking jobs from Tennesseans.
STEP THREE – DECREASING THE COSTS OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Tennessee ranks 32nd in the nation for insurance costs to cover workers’ compensation insurance; 31 states have lower costs. An opt-out allowing qualified businesses to self-fund their employee injury benefit plans will drive down the costs. As costs go down, businesses will hire more employees and offer better benefits.
These three initiatives are fundamental to getting more job opportunities in Tennessee. As the demand for labor goes up, so will wages. It’s what we have to do to help every Tennessean find their American dream.