Here’s a look at some of the issues we’ll be watching in next year’s legislative session:
Eliminate the Professional ‘Privilege’ Tax
Tennessee has a discriminatory professional privilege tax on 22 professions. The annual $400 tax is particularly hard on start-up audiologists, landscape architects, podiatrists and speech pathologists. Tennessee law states “engaging in any vocation, profession, business or occupation named in this part is declared to be a privilege taxable by the state alone.” It’s time to end Tennessee’s last income tax that indiscriminately hurts entrepreneurs.
Eliminate Unfair Amusement Tax on Fitness Centers
The amusement tax on small fitness centers is also discriminatory and should be abolished. In 1986, big box fitness centers over 15,000 square feet obtained an exemption from the tax. Today, nearly 30 large entities don’t collect it, while 600 small fitness studios must collect from their customers. The nearly 10 percent tax on good health has caused significant customer migration, slowed small business expansion, and created confusion in the industry, which has led to several six-figure assessments that could lead to closures.