Tennessee Senate passes resolution to prevent implementation of statewide property tax

The Tennessee Senate took a significant step on Thursday by passing a joint resolution to prohibit the implementation of a statewide property tax.

House Joint Resolution 81, which was previously approved by the House with a vote of 81-11, marks the initial phase towards enshrining the property tax prohibition in the Tennessee Constitution. While Tennessee presently does not have a property tax, Senator Frank Niceley, representing Strawberry Plains, highlighted that the state had a property tax until 1949, when it was reduced to 0% and has since remained at that level.

According to Niceley, the amendment process will eliminate the possibility of the state implementing a statewide property tax in the future, in addition to local property taxes.

According to Niceley, the property tax should be administered at the local level, specifically in counties and cities.

The resolution will need to gain approval from both bodies of the Legislature by a two-thirds majority next year before it can be placed on a statewide ballot in 2026.

Americans For Prosperity-Tennessee has been advocating for the implementation of a statewide property tax ban.

According to Tori Venable, the State Director of AFP-Tennessee, the organization plans to mobilize grassroots volunteers and launch campaigns aimed at educating Tennesseans about the process of amending the state constitution. Venable expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to build upon their legislative achievement and sustain the momentum in order to constitutionally prohibit a statewide property tax, just as they successfully did with the income tax.

According to Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, he believes that it is insincere for the state Legislature to deny its role in property taxation, considering that it mandates local governments to impose local property taxes.

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