Chattanooga Times Free Press: Blackburn: Tennesseans’ fight against the state income tax

By Marsha Blackburn

April 17, 2018

Every time rumblings of a state income tax became prevalent in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tennesseans across the state were motivated. They wanted to do something to fight this tax. They did not want a state income tax and certainly did not want to spend more to pay for a broken TennCare system. They said, “Enough is enough. Fix the problem. Don’t just throw money at it.”

So, they showed up to fight back over and over again. On several occasions, but most famously in 2001 and 2002, those who did not have the time to join us at Legislative Plaza simply circled the capitol area honking their horns in show of support for the patriots gathered to oppose a new tax.

Never had I given thought to the number of different types of car horns that existed. It had not been even a fleeting thought until we had the tax revolt in Tennessee. To me, all the horns, music and conversations were the sounds of freedom at work.

The state income tax battle was a four-year endeavor that started in 1999 and ended in 2002. Sure, it was a tough fight, but it was the right type battle to pick. Placing another tax to pay for another program was wrong for the state; time has borne that theory out.

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