NFIB/Tennessee to Push for Significant Tax Reforms in 2016 Session

Date: January 11, 2016 Last Edit: January 21, 2016

State members of the National Federation of Independent Business will advocate strongly in 2016 for several reforms to Tennessee’s tax system, said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee, the state’s leading small business association. 
NFIB, which represents 7,200 independent businesses in Tennessee, says it will work with other business groups to rollback the unfortunate expansion of the state’s Retail Accountability Program (RAP), which burdens wholesalers and is unfair to retailers. 
“The expansion of RAP is wrong for Tennessee,” Brown said. “Small business strongly supports going after sales tax cheats, but RAP is flawed in too many ways and must be fixed.”
Brown said NFIB members in the grocery and convenience store industry are reporting new burdens and costs because of the state’s expansion of mandatory monthly reporting of their sales to their customers to the Department of Revenue. Retailers also are in a vulnerable position because many will be issued proposed assessments without the department having a complete picture of their business operations. 
“Guilty until proven innocent isn’t business friendly or good for the business environment in Tennessee,” Brown added. “NFIB supports the use of traditional business audits and seeking better ways to go after bad actors. In addition, NFIB believes last year’s expansion of the program may be unconstitutional because it violates the state’s non-delegation doctrine.”
NFIB also is advocating for a more flexible, less punitive process for businesses to estimate their franchise & excise tax liabilities. “F&E tax collections have been volatile in recent years, which makes state budgeting more difficult and leaves businesses vulnerable to calls for tax increases. It’s time to allow more accepted ways for businesses to estimate this complex tax that is very important to our revenue base.” 
NFIB released the following results from its 2016 NFIB/Tennessee Member Ballot:
•44 percent Tennessee support setting up an exclusive administrative review process for medical malpractice and error claims, while 28 percent oppose, and 28 percent are undecided
•72 percent oppose the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, 17 percent support and 11 percent are undecided
•89 percent oppose employers being prohibited from considering an applicant’s criminal history until after the interview process has concluded (aka, ban the box), 9 percent support, and 2 percent are undecided
•66 percent would support legislation protecting employers from a cause of action for alleged negligent hiring of an employee or independent contractor who has been previously convicted of a criminal offense, while 25 percent oppose, and 8 percent are undecided
The 109th Tennessee General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene Tuesday, Jan. 12.  

Related Content: Small Business News | Tennessee

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