Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc.                                                         www.TnTaxRevolt.org

For Immediate Release                                                              Contact: Ben Cunningham

Tuesday February 1, 2005                                                         Phone: 615-847-8050

 

 

Rep. Donna Rowland awarded

Taxpayer Hero Award

 

 

Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc., (TTR) an all-volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan, statewide taxpayer advocacy group, today awarded District 34 Tennessee State Rep. Donna Rowland the Taxpayer Hero Award for standing strong for the taxpayers of her Rutherford County district. Ben Cunningham, spokesman for TTR said, “In the face of constant attacks by local editorial pages and special interest groups, Rep. Rowland has stood strong on principal. That principal being that ONLY taxpayers know their family budgets and ONLY Rutherford County taxpayers should make the ultimate decision about Rutherford County taxes by voting in a local referendum on this issue.”

 

Rep. Rowland has stated she will not vote to approve impact fees and other taxes which require General Assembly approval unless the "private act" implementing such taxes requires approval by the Rutherford County voters in a referendum. TTR believes that the Tennessee General Assembly is not the place for decision making about local taxes. TTR believes that the General Assembly should NOT raise taxes on Rutherford County taxpayers without first getting their consent via referendum.

 

The precedent of the Tennessee General Assembly going over taxpayer’s heads is a bad one and one that has been abused in the past. Most recently, Decatur County residents twice defeated a wheel tax in two separate referendums only to have it passed by the General Assembly.

 

In another case which turned out much better for taxpayers, State Senator Steve Southerland last year refused to sponsor a General Assembly Bill which would have raised the local wheel tax in Greene County. The tax had previously been defeated in a referendum.

 

Cunningham added, “Taxation is an extraordinary power which citizens have granted to government. Taxation is the only case where citizens allow their property to be taken without direct compensation. Our elected representatives should exercise this power of taxation only when it is clear that new taxes are approved with the full ‘consent of the governed.’ As advocates for Tennessee taxpayers, we applaud Rep. Rowland for her courageous stand. ”

 

 

Additional Information:

 

Tennessee Constitution

Article XI, Section 9

 

“…and any act of the General Assembly private or local in form or effect applicable to a particular county or municipality either in its governmental or its proprietary capacity shall be void and of no effect unless the act by its terms either requires the approval by a two-thirds vote of the local legislative body of the municipality or county, or requires approval in an election by a majority of those voting in said election in the municipality or county affected.”