Lt. Gov. says he opposes Bredesen's tax increases

Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 2:17pm

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said Thursday he opposes two tax increases proposed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, and he’s looking for ways to cut state spending to make up for the loss of revenue in the next state budget.

Ramsey said he’s against Bredesen’s proposed tax on cable TV bills and on hotels for the complimentary breakfasts they offer guests.

“Those are almost silly,” Ramsey told reporters. “I want to be able to go home, and I believe this from the bottom of my heart, and be able to say we didn’t raise your taxes. I don’t want to say go home and say we didn’t raise your taxes except on your cable bill. For the amount of money that it brings in, it’s not worth it, first of all. Second of all, it’s the wrong thing to do.”

Ramsey, who is running for governor, said he has asked the state’s constitutional officers to find ways to cut spending to replace the taxes. The cable TV tax would raise $21 million, money that Bredesen wants to use to save the jobs of prosecutors, public defenders, forest rangers and others. The hotel tax would bring in $2 million.

Ramsey said he wouldn't lay off those state workers but would find other ways to save money.

“I think that was good politics on the part of the governor to actually tie some cuts to the tax increases,” Ramsey said. “But the fiscal reality is that does not have to be the case. You can use any cuts you want to replace that.”

Ramsey said he favors a proposal by the state’s hospitals to tax themselves to draw matching federal Medicaid dollars to offset proposed cuts in TennCare in the coming year.

“I think we can see the need for that," he said. "I am reluctant to comment until we actually have a bill in front of us. But I understand that if these cuts go into effect, that the governor has proposed by the way, that it would be devastating to hospitals, and I understand that.”

6 Comments on this post:

By: WickedTribe on 3/11/10 at 6:35

We don't want you to raise taxes or cut services.

Fire the state workers. ASAP.

By: gdiafante on 3/12/10 at 7:35

What an ignorant statement.

By: pswindle on 3/12/10 at 1:58

Can you believe that this guy wants to be govenor? I need to understand why everyone wants benefits, but do not want to raise taxes to pay for it. Where do they think the benefits come from?

By: DDG on 3/12/10 at 4:56

We pay enough money to cover services if they would just eliminate all of the bullshit. Why is it that the government never has enough money? They increase taxes at a greater rate than inflation. Here's a thought; stop paying outrageous salaries to state workers that we don't need. Cover the basics and get rid of the crap! We need Police, fire, roads, schools and a few other services. Almost everything else is just waste.

By: DDG on 3/12/10 at 4:57

We need more statues, works of art, music coming out of speakers downtown etc...wait, NO WE DON'T!

By: HaslamsFan on 3/14/10 at 3:45

Ramsey voted for the original cable bill with the silly $15 exemption.
Did he go home then and tell the voters he didn't?
Was it worth it then because it raised a whole lot more money?
and, if it's the wrong thing to do now,
Wasn't it just as wrong back when he voted to tax cable bills on everything except the silly first $15?

Silly voters who fall for this deserve the government they pay for but don't get.