To the Editor:
With graduation approaching, many UT students are looking for jobs in Knoxville and other parts of Tennessee. Tennessee is a great place to live because of its beautiful scenery, warm climate, and friendly culture. However, some aspects of our state make it a less-than-ideal place to live and raise a family.
Tennessee has the fourth highest crime rate in the country, ranks 43rd on per-pupil education, and 47th in average ACT scores. Tennessee also rates poorly on other quality-of-life indicators such as poverty (ninth highest), infant mortality (seventh highest), and obesity (second highest).
These problems are partly due to how the state government raises and spends money. Tennessee ranks 49th in revenue raised each year per capita. The Tennessee tax system has consistently failed to raise enough money to fund government programs, resulting each year in budget cuts. We need to restructure our tax system, not only to avoid continuing revenue shortfalls, but to avoid raising the state sales tax, which is the highest in the country. Unfortunately the state legislature is working to prevent Tennessee from diversifying its tax system. Legislators want to put an income-tax ban into the state constitution. If the bill passes a statewide referendum, the government will continue to raise sales and property taxes because an income tax will be illegal.
Regardless of your stand on tax policy, it is important not to limit the options for funding Tennessee’s future. If you plan to live in Tennessee after graduation, please oppose the income tax ban.
State should not rule out income tax
To the Editor: