Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax reform, sent a letter to Tennessee lawmakers in support of HB 2293 and in opposition of HB 2506. HB 2293 would allow county officials to end the practice of using taxpayer dollars to hire the very lobbyists who push for tax increases while HB 2506 would increase the cost of travel by permitting a 20 percent increase in local hotel occupancy taxes. The bills are currently pending in committee. The text of the letter is as follows:


Dear Members of the Tennessee House,

I write today regarding HB 2293 & HB 2506, two bills of importance to Tennessee taxpayers. I urge you to support HB 2293, legislation that allows a county commission or appropriate taxing authority to eliminate taxpayer-funded lobbying from school board budgets. I urge you to oppose HB 2506, a bill that would permit a 20 percent increase in local hotel occupancy taxes.

Taxes already make up far too high of a proportion of the cost of travel. Taxes currently account for a whopping 39% of the cost of the average hotel stay. HB 2903 would increase the tax burden associated with travel at a time when legislators should be looking to go in the opposite direction by reducing taxes and mitigating the negative impact they have on the Tennessee economy.

Speaking of tax increases, often the biggest proponents of higher taxes are taxpayer-funded lobbyists. HB 2293 would allow county officials to put a stop the odious practice of using taxpayer dollars to hire lobbyists. This is a common sense piece of legislation that lawmakers should approve before adjourning the 2014 session.

Over the past several years, Tennesseans have seen over 20 new or higher federal taxes imposed on them from Washington. In light of this, it is imperative now more than ever that the legislators in Nashville not pile on with further tax increases. As such, I urge you to reject HB 2506, the bill to permit local option hotel tax hikes; and support HB 2293, much-needed legislation that would allow country officials to end the dubious use of taxpayer dollars on lobbyists.

Americans for Tax Reform will be educating your constituents as to how their representatives in the legislature vote on these important matters. If you have any questions or if ATR can be of assistance, please contact Patrick Gleason, ATR’s director of state affairs, at [email protected] or 202-785-0266.


Grover G. Norquist

Photo Credit: w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines)