Bill Would Lower Local Governments' Sales Tax Fees

Knox County Commissioner John Schoonmaker continues his fight against an administrative fee he says is unnecessary and a strain on local governments, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The tax in question is a flat 1.125 percent fee to the state so that the Department of Revenue can process local option sales taxes and return them to the same counties and cities, for which the state collected $38 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year. New legislation promoted by Schoonmaker — HB1193/SB1126 — and sponsored by Rep. Justin Lafferty, R-Knoxville, and Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, seeks to reduce the 1.125 percent fee to 0.5 percent, which advocates estimate will save municipalities millions. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee yesterday with a negative recommendation.

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