Updated May 2, 2008
Consequences of Tennessee's Failure to Invest
- 43rd in financial commitment to public health (per person)
- 44th in financial commitment to elementary and secondary school (per student)
- 48th in financial commitment to higher education by state and local government (per person)
RETURN ON INVESTMENT:
- 45th safest state
- 47th healthiest state
- 47th most livable state
INVESTMENT RETURNS (IN PAINFUL DETAIL):
- 41st in children living above the national poverty line
- 41st in percent of 4th graders who read at a 4th grade level
- 46th in percent of 4th graders who can do 4th grade math
- 41st in percent of population who graduated from college
- 42ndin high school graduation rates
- 42nd in citizens living above the national poverty line
- 44th in higher education enrollment
- 46th in seniors living above the national poverty line
WHAT TENNESSEE DOES WELL:
- 6th in children living in extreme poverty
- 10th in young adults not attending school. not working, and with no degree beyond high school
- 3rd in meth lab incidents
- 5th in percent of adults overweight or obese
- 8th in grandchildren in the care of grandparents
Data sources: Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Kids Count: A National State-by-State Effort to Track the Status of Children in the US. / Congressional Quarterly, Inc. 2008. Governing City & State. Washington, DC. / Morgan, Kathleen O’Leary and Scott Morgan (eds). State Rankings 2008: a Statistical View of America, Eighteenth Edition. CQ Press. / Morgan Quitno Press. “Results of the 2007 Most Livable State Award”. State and City Ranking Publications. / United Health Foundation. 2006 Edition. “America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People & Their Communities”. Minnetonka, MN.
Tennessee's tax system hurts all Tennesseans and cannot adequately
supply the state's basic services.
We cannot solve the state's budget crisis by further cuts
which threaten education, health care, clean air and water, our economy, and
the quality of life for our families.
- It is irrational and fails to meet the state's needs by levying taxes in such a way as to let wealthier sectors of the population, who spend little of their income on items subject to the sales tax, pay a fraction of what low and middle-income families pay.
- With the growth of Internet shopping and the shift to a more service-oriented economy, the sales tax has become increasingly ineffective in the 21st Century. April, 2010 was the 23rd consecutive month that sales tax revenues in Tennessee declined.
Tennessee needs to reduce its dependence on the sales tax and embrace a more balanced, common sense approach to funding state services. Long term, Tennessee needs to consider comprehensive tax restructuring, including full repeal of the food tax, reduction of the sales tax, closing corporate tax loopholes, and establishing a progressive state income tax.
With a fair and adequate tax system, we can be proud
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