NASHVILLE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF)- The tenth week of the second session of the 113th General Assembly is now complete. I passed legislation on the floor last week that will return money to taxpayers and encourage investment in Tennessee. I have worked very diligently on this legislation, and I am proud to have passed it.

TOP PHOTO: State Senator Ken Yager hosted a town hall meeting earlier this month at Jacksboro.

This week, I will be advancing legislation that will add the death penalty as a penalty option for the offense of child rape. This is a heinous crime, and I believe that juries should have the option to consider the death penalty.

I invite everyone to visit the State Capitol. If you have children in grades 5-12, they can even serve as a page in the Senate. If your child would like to be a part of state government and would like to learn how laws are made, you can contact my office. I will do my best to accommodate all senate page requests. It is an honor to serve as the State Senator for nine of the finest counties in the state of Tennessee. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please contact me at 615-741-1449 or sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov.

Senate passes legislation to simplify franchise tax and return money to taxpayers

On Thursday, the Senate approved legislation I sponsored on behalf of Governor Bill Lee to cut taxes by simplifying the state’s franchise tax – a business tax on net worth. This adjustment will offer relief to taxpayers, modernize the way the tax is calculated and manage newly discovered legal risks.

The legislation will align Tennessee’s franchise tax with surrounding states, and is a proactive measure to mitigate the legal risks of the current franchise tax policy.

Because our state is in a strong fiscal position due to years of consistent conservative budgeting, we are able to issue this tax cut and remedy legal concerns without a costly legal battle. This is the most fiscally responsible way to protect Tennessee tax dollars and provide equitable tax relief for businesses that have invested in Tennessee. It’s important to remember the money being returned under this bill is not government money; it’s taxpayer money. I trust that taxpayers are in the best position to decide how to use those funds.

The current property measure of the nearly century-old franchise tax is an alternative minimum tax on property used in Tennessee. The property measure disincentivizes investment in the state and has recently created additional legal challenges.

Senate Bill 2103 would change Tennessee’s franchise tax to remove the property measure and authorize the Department of Revenue to issue refunds to taxpayers who have paid the franchise tax based on property located in the state.

Requiring local authorization for methadone clinics

I filed and passed Senate Bill 2321 out of the Senate State and Local Government last week, that will put guardrails on locating a methadone clinic in rural counties. The legislation was in response to an incident in one of the counties in my district. Under the bill, a methadone clinic cannot locate in a county that is not zoned without county commission approval. This would give the local government more say in the location of such a clinic. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/25/2024-NOON)