PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - October 29, 2020 

Trump supporters left to battle frigid temperatures in Omaha; absentee ballots surge in Tennessee.

2020Talks - October 29, 2020 

The Supreme Court blocks North Carolina and Pennsylvania Republicans from requiring ballots to be delivered by Election Day. And a Texas court is requiring masks at polling places.

TN Democratic Leaders Call for Sales Tax Reform

February 8, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After 21 months of increased state revenues, Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing a bill that would lower the sales tax on food purchases in Tennessee, and also broaden the state's inheritance tax exemption.

Tennessee's Democratic Party leaders counter that the proposed cuts should focus on less fortunate families, and not the wealthy. Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester thinks the proposal is a step in the right direction, but observes that it does little to help those who are struggling to put healthy food on the table.

"The governor did outline the tax cuts that he proposed, which we really feel are for special interests and not deep enough for middle-class, working Tennesseans."

Sales taxes generate 54 percent of Tennessee's state tax revenue.

Gov. Haslam is convinced that the proposal would help all Tennesseans, although Dick Williams – spokesman for the group Tennesseans for Fair Taxation (TFT) – says the additional money may be better suited elsewhere.

"That small amount of reduction of the food tax might actually be better spent on maintaining certain other services. We always appreciate any attempt to reduce the tax on food."

While state revenues may have increased, says Williams, the amounts are still lower than they once were. He describes TFT members as being "conflicted" about Gov. Haslam's proposal, because it fails to identify where or how the lost revenue will be replaced. Ultimately, adds Williams, that could lead to more problems down the road.

However, Forrester suggests that Democrats have a potential solution to that problem.

"We've identified over $500 million in tax breaks for Tennessee corporations. If we closed those loopholes, that would entirely deal with being able to eliminate the sales tax."

At an average state and local rate of 7.9 percent, Tennessee has the third highest average food tax in the nation. The TFT's view is that by eliminating the tax on food, the average family would save enough annually to buy a whole month's worth of groceries.

Bo Bradshaw, Public News Service - TN