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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

Every Day is Tax Day for Americans

April 15, 2015

Some people refer to today as tax day—the day on which individual income tax returns are due to the federal government.

But actually Mr. Speaker, for most Americans, every day is tax day—counting sales taxes, gas taxes, property taxes, all the taxes that people pay directly, and then all the hidden indirect taxes we pay for everything in the cost of goods; taxes that are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, because to stay in business, businesses have to pass their taxes on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

We are an overtaxed Nation, Mr. Speaker. Most taxpayers will pay more in taxes of all types this year than on food, clothing and housing combined. Per person, the federal government collected a near record amount in revenues over the past twelve months--$ 3.3 trillion just to the federal government, and another trillion-and-a-half or perhaps even more to state or local governments.

Despite what some people say, Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem, and higher taxes won’t solve it.

Tennessee is a prime example of that, an example for the Nation leading the way, because it is a low tax state.

The State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act is especially important to my State, because it will help Tennessee families make ends meet by keeping more money in the pockets of hard-working individuals. This deduction is a matter of fairness for Tennesseans to ensure that they are treated the same way the federal government treats those in states with state income taxes.

The state and local sales tax deduction allows residents in states with no state income tax, such as Tennessee, to deduct their state and local sales tax payments from their federal income tax. This puts Tennesseans on equal footing with taxpayers in other states who can deduct their state income taxes from their federal tax obligation.

This is a matter of fairness, Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman from Ohio just said.. Tennesseans shouldn't pay a larger share of taxes than other taxpayers, simply because we pay sales tax instead of income tax. Making this deduction permanent will provide certainty to Tennesseans who itemize their taxes and allow them to plan their family budgets.

People all over the country, Mr. Speaker, are moving from the high tax states to the low tax states.  Tennessee benefits from this. Jobs are being created. Our State economy is one of the strongest in the Nation because we keep our taxes low.

This is an example the Nation should follow, and certainly not one the Nation should penalize in any way.