On April 8, 2013, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 by a vote of 80-8, giving final approval to a proposed constitutional amendment to ban a state income tax in Tennessee on payroll and earned personal income. Having now been approved by two successive General Assemblies, the proposed constitutional amendment must be submitted to voters during the next gubernatorial election, which will be held in November 2014.
The resolution would amend Article II, Section 28 of the Tennessee Constitution to add language to explicitly prohibit the General Assembly from levying, authorizing or otherwise permitting any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income. The proposed amendment would not change the current tax imposed on income derived from stocks and bonds.
Although the state of Tennessee does not currently impose such a tax, proponents of the measure believe the constitutional ban is necessary to clarify that the tax is unconstitutional in Tennessee. The resolution relies heavily on the fact that the Supreme Court of Tennessee has held on three separate occasions that the General Assembly lacks constitutional authority to levy a state tax on any class of income other than income derived from stocks and bonds.
To view the full text of S.J.R. 1, click http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/108/Bill/SJR0001.pdf.