Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Taxpayers Bitten By Beavers Tax Votes

Incumbent Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers recently sent out a mailer (pictured above) to her constituents in the 17th District. One statement on it particularly caught my attention. The third line down under the heading "The Right Values for the Tennessee Senate" states that Senator Beavers is "Opposed to ANY increase in taxes." Unfortunately for her, her record says otherwise. She has voted for tax increases and / or against tax cuts on a number of occasions. For example, consider the following :
  • SB 2357 raised from 2% to 5.5% the tax the HMO's operating in Tennessee must pay on the gross receipts collected from an enrollee. In simple terms, it's a tax HMO's pay to the state based upon the amount of insurance premiums they collect. It amounted to more than a 250% tax increase. Senator Beavers voted in favor of it. Guess who the HMO's pass this tax increase on to in the form of higher premiums ?? Yep. You guessed it. The consumers. Why would anyone want to do that in a time when health care costs are rising ??
  • SB 453 extended for two years from June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2011 a $2225 per bed tax that Tennessee's nursing homes must pay each year on each licensed bed within their facilities. Senator Beavers voted in favor of extending this tax. Another way of looking at her vote is that it was a vote against a tax cut for Tennessee's nursing homes. If a nursing home has just 50 licensed beds at $2225 tax per bed, that comes to $111,250. If the facility has 100 beds, it jumps to $222,500. Anyone besides me think a nursing home could use a $100,000 or $200,000 tax break during the current recession ?? It might allow them to reduce the prices that Tennesseans pay for care in these facilities.
  • SB 959 required the State Of Tennessee Dept. of Transportation (TDOT) to examine the study and development of expanding qualifying existing HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes into toll or HOT lanes. Let me clarify - this bill was not about building new roads and paying for them via tolls. The bill is for the consideration of turning existing interstate lanes, ones that Tennessee taxpayers have already paid for once, into toll lanes. I would call that "double taxation." Wanna guess how Senator Beavers voted ?? Yep. She voted in favor of it. Now, why would a "conservative" vote in favor of even studying a proposal that would amount to "double taxing" Tennessee's working families ?? Makes no sense.
These are just three examples of Beavers votes in favor of tax increases and against tax cuts. If you do a little digging, you may find more. The purpose of me providing this information is so the next time you hear her say she's "for low taxes" or that she's "against tax increases," you know the truth and can call her on it. When it comes to Beavers votes on taxes, they tend to bite Tennessee's taxpayers.
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