taxes

Dean latest gubernatorial candidate to release tax info

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean and his wife had $19.2 million in taxable income from 2013 to 2016, reports The Tennessean  after he provided a tax summary statement.

Last year alone, Dean and his wife, Delta Anne Davis, who works for the Southern Environmental Law Center, earned nearly $2.7 million.

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Corker surprised by special tax cut for his commercial real estate business

The latest version of the federal tax bill that Congress is expected to approve this week includes a provision that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says caught him by surprise. It’s a tax break that would benefit persons with large commercial real estate holdings – such as Corker – and the senator has asked for an explanation.

Excerpt from a letter the Tennessee Republican sent Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Sunday, as reported by Bloomberg News.

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Corker flips — will vote for GOP tax bill after all

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced his support for the tax reform legislation developed by members of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Committee.

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Corker casts sole GOP no vote on Senate tax bill

Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker cast the only Republican no vote on federal tax overhaul legislation that passed the U.S. 51-49 early Saturday. The next step is for House and Senate Republicans to iron out their differences over the bill.

Insofar as Corker, goes, here is an excerpt from a CNN story:

Corker had made his support contingent on leaders including a trigger in the bill that would generate automatic tax cuts in the event the tax bill didn’t get the anticipated growth. But after reworking the proposal several times, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the trigger wouldn’t pass Senate rules that allowed Republicans to pass their tax bill along a party-line vote. Corker then demanded $350 billion in additional cuts his colleagues weren’t ready to give him.

But even Corker, who had left aides and colleagues fuming Thursday night with a dramatic showing on the Senate floor that included him huddled around the Senate’s parliamentarian and GOP leaders for more than hour, offered conciliatory remarks Friday morning at a closed-door GOP conference meeting.

According to two GOP sources, Corker moved to de-escalate the situation that angered his colleagues Thursday night, saying he was happy the party was on the precipice of passing their tax bill even if he wasn’t going to be with them. Republican leaders as of Friday morning were still trying to win his support, but sources acknowledged the reality: the decision had been made to cut him loose. They had the votes without him.

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker (issued prior to the vote):

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today (Friday) released the following statement.

“My concern about the impact a rapidly growing $20 trillion national debt will have on our children and grandchildren has been a guiding principle throughout my time in public service. And during my 10 years and 11 months in the Senate, I have consistently fought for fiscal discipline in Washington.

“I have authored comprehensive legislation to address America’s debt crisis, including the Commitment to American Prosperity (CAP) Act and the Fiscal Sustainability Act. I also have taken some really tough votes against very popular policies, including appropriations bills, budget resolutions, defense authorizations, disaster funding, and even a veterans’ bill. 

“But at the same time, I have consistently advocated for pro-growth tax reform. And in my view, these are not mutually exclusive priorities.

“From the beginning of this debate, I have been a cheerleader for legislation that – while allowing for current policy assumptions and reasonable dynamic scoring – would not add to the deficit and set rates that are permanent in nature.

“I worked closely with Senator Toomey to negotiate the budget agreement that paved the way for this legislation. And I have worked diligently over the past few weeks with Senate leadership and the White House to make improvements.

“While I support a number of the provisions included in this legislation and continue to believe it would have been fairly easy to alter the bill in a way that would have been more fiscally sound without harming the pro-growth policies, unfortunately, it is clear that the caucus is in a different place.

“This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.

“I thank the administration, Senate leadership, and members of the tax-writing committee for working with me in good faith, and as I shared with President Trump when I called him a short time ago, I will take a close look at the product developed in conference before making a decision on the final legislation.”

Corker gets requested revision and votes for Senate GOP tax bill; Alexander involved with Obamacare deal

The Senate Budget Committee voted to advance the GOP tax reform bill on Tuesday on a party-line vote, with both Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) backing the measure a day after threatening to withhold their support, reports Politico.  That critical vote came after President Donald Trump came to Capitol Hill to rally the troops in the tax battle.

Johnson voted for the tax bill after a back-and-forth with Trump during the lunch, according to multiple sources, over the Wisconsin Republican’s main concern: that the proposal currently gives more benefits to corporations than to businesses that pay taxes through the individual system.

… Corker, one of the fiscal hawks concerned about the deficit impact of tax cuts, said he was satisfied with details for a “trigger” to reverse tax cuts if economic growth fell short of projections in years to come. He expects details to be released Thursday.

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Corker seeks inclusion of ‘backstop’ in Senate tax overhaul; otherwise ‘very possible’ he’ll vote no

U.S. Senate Republican leaders are considering last-minute changes in federal tax overhaul legislation, including a provision pushed by Tennessee’s Bob Corker that could eliminate some tax cuts if the new law winds up adding more to the federal deficit than projected, reports Politico.

Two critical Republican swing votes, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee, on Monday left open the possibility that they could vote against the tax plan in a key committee vote scheduled for Tuesday if changes weren’t made to their liking. That would tank the bill before it could reach the floor, putting more pressure on leadership to quickly make revisions.

…A handful of deficit hawks — including Corker and Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma — are discussing a trigger mechanism that would kick in and potentially change tax rates if the economic growth needed to defray the cost of the tax overhaul doesn’t materialize.

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Black, Harwell and Fitzhugh release income tax info; other gubernatorial candidates refuse

Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor have turned down a Tennessean request to make public details of their federal income tax returns.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries. Of the other Republican candidates Mae Beavers, Randy Boyd and Bill Lee declined – though Boyd indicated he may reconsider in the future.

On the Democrat side, House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh released a copy of his 2016 return and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean declined the request, though indicating he may reconsider later.

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Poll finds Tennesseans skeptical of Senate Republican tax plan

Excerpt from a Hart Research Associates polling memo on a Nov. 17-9, 2017 survey of 400 registered voters in Tennessee, with a margin of error of ±five percentage points, asking their sentiments on the tax plan now pending in the U.S. Senate.  It was apparently commissioned by Americans for Fair Taxation, a non-profit organization of multiple groups – including labor unions and others generally oriented toward Democrats.

-Just 30% of Tennessee voters currently approve of the Republican tax plan, while nearly half (47%) disapprove. Significantly, strong sentiment on the issue is even more lopsided, with more than twice as many voters strongly disapproving (28%) as strongly approving (13%).

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Three TN colleges would face new federal endowment tax under U.S. House GOP proposal

Three institutions in Tennessee – Vanderbilt University in Nashville, the University of the South at Sewanee and Rhodes College of Memphis – would see their endowments subject to a new federal tax under the tax code rewrite proposed by U.S. House Republicans last week, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Alexander and Corker on Trump and pending tax overhaul

Congressional Republicans involved in crafting a federal tax overhaul are bracing for President Trump to potentially disturb their negotiations at any moment, as he has done throughout his nine months in office and this week on a bipartisan Senate agreement to shore up Obamacare insurance markets, reports Politico.

“Sure, it’s going to come,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who’s been the target of his share of tweets from the president.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who brokered the health agreement that Trump has shifted between criticizing and praising, added that he had already told the president that his staying on track on tax reform could be key to getting a landmark achievement.

“If the president of the United States focuses on one thing, with everything he’s got, for as long it takes, he can usually get what he wants,” Alexander said.

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