Push for 3 Takes Off – Literally

From Newsmax comes this update on Amendment 3 on November’s ballot to ban a state income tax:

In the latest — and what is by far the most unique — venue for highlighting the anti-tax cause in the United States, the world’s largest airship took off from Nashville, Tennessee, last week as part of the kickoff of a 40-state tour.

Christened the “Create A Great State” challenge, the tour is designed to promote state tax reform measures nationwide. There was a particular poignancy in Tennessee being the launching point for the blimp-style airship, reportedly larger than the fictional airship “Albatross” immortalized in Jules Verne’s classic novel “Master of the World.”

Earlier this year, the anti-tax Amendment Three qualified for the November ballot in the Volunteer State. The creation of Republican state Sen. Brian Kelsey, “Three” would place a constitutional ban on a state income tax in Tennessee.

“Basically, ‘Three’ is similar to constitutional bans on income taxes in other states, such as Florida,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told Newsmax. “Although Tennessee has no income tax and Republicans hold super-majorities in both houses of the legislature, that will not always be the case.

“You can’t always count on tradition to protect you. With the Democratic Party so left-wing, if it ever got in a position of political power — even for a short time — it is very possible Democrats could enact an income tax. So you’ve got to have this barrier to protect the taxpayer from the income tax.”

Norquist also pointed out that although Tennessee has no income tax, “it has a 6 percent tax on dividends and they are certainly a form of income. ‘Three’ gets rid of that.”

“What happens in Tennessee on the amendment vote is extremely relevant for people like me who chose to live and start a business in the Volunteer State,” explained Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, a nationally known economist and one of the fathers of the modern movement to spur economic growth by reducing tax rates.

Laffer’s storied “Laffer Curve” drawing helped craft the tax reduction concept championed by the late Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y., and Sen. Bill Roth, R-Del. Referring to the present tax situation in Tennessee, he told reporters: “Tennessee and the other states with no income tax averaged job growth of 9.9 percent over the past decade, four percentage points higher than the nationwide average of 5.9 percent.

“Voting Yes on 3 will help us maintain our business-friendly reputation.”

This constitutional ban on income taxes was approved for the ballot almost unanimously by the Legislature. It comes on the heels of lawmakers voting resoundingly to repeal the state inheritance tax.

Given this strong “ax-the-tax” sentiment, Newsmax could find few Tennesseans who doubted the constitutional ban on an income tax would pass with ease come November.

“And tomorrow night, the blimp drops into Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the home of Rush Limbaugh and the Show-Me State’s anti-tax Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder,” said Travis Brown, co-author of the best-selling “Wealth of States,” who spoke to Newsmax while aboard the huge airship, “We’re arriving just a week after the state legislature stripped [Democratic Gov.] Jay Nixon of some of his taxation powers, and did so by overriding his veto.”

From Missouri, Brown will go on to speak before more than forty state think tanks in Denver, Colorado. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is locked in a close race with Republican former Rep. Bob Beauprez. One of the major issues in that contest is a major tax increase signed into law by Hickenlooper.

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