21′ SB0736/HB0141 – Johnson/Lamberth (A Governor’s bill)

Bill Description

As enacted, creates a sales and use tax exemption and a credit for qualified payroll expenses against an applicant's combined franchise and excise tax liability for qualified film or television productions if the commissioners of revenue and economic and community development determine that the exemption and credit is in the best interests of the state. -

TLRC Position

TLRC opposes this legislation for several reasons:
1] The state should not be picking winners and losers or giving advantages to some businesses/industries over others.
2] Those with the authority to determine who gets these benefits and what is in the best interests of the state (us) are not our elected representatives. They are unelected bureaucrats whose activities are opaque and they are unaccountable to the people.
3] The film and video industry is hardly a paragon of virtuous influence. They traditionally produce material that is deleterious to the well-being of a civil society. Will the granting authorities filter what is produced under the tax benefits provided by this legislation?

TLRC Observed Process

For the most part, this bill passed unanimously. No dissent in the senate, but the were a few heroes in the house: Brandon Ogles (R, Franklin), Jerry Sexton (R, Bean Station), and John Mark Windle (D, Livingston) voted against the bill. We applaud them for their wisdom and commitment to conservative values.

Vote Result: Passed

Score: -5