A $271 million business tax break among the many items in Tennessee’s 2023 budget

Included in the $56.2 billion state budget are money for prisons, crisis pregnancy centers and local airports located in the home counties of House Republican leaders

By: - April 24, 2023 6:00 am
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Buried among the many changes made to Tennessee’s 2023 budget is a several hundred million dollar tax break for some of the state’s largest businesses and a change in how companies depreciate their assets will allow a significant windfall over the next four years, estimated at $271.2 million in tax savings.

These cuts are among several other tax breaks and spending projects that are part of the state’s $56.2 billion budget proposed by Gov. Bill Lee and passed by state lawmakers. 

Republicans, who have led the charge for the depreciation tax change, said it would help  provide incentive for  businesses to invest more money in the short term. The depreciation measure is among several tax changes, including raising the standard deduction for franchise and excise tax, as well as a three-month sales tax break on food sales. 

The food sales tax holiday will take place from August to October of 2023. 

Gov. Bill Lee’s budget provides money to infrastructure projects in the home counties of Tennessee House leadership, including those of Speaker Cameron Sexton and House Majority Leader William Lamberth.  

Top Republicans in the House get money for their airports

As Republicans push to take over a majority of the seats on Nashville’s airport board, they’re putting up $16.2 million to fund improvements at airports in the home counties of House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, and House Speaker Pro Temp Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville.

In Lamberth’s home county, Sumner, the Music City Executive Airport will receive $10 million for infrastructure improvements. 

The Shelbyville Municipal Airport, located in Marsh’s district, will receive $5 million for a sewer line and the Crossville Memorial Airport — located in Sexton’s district — will receive $1.2 million to construct a new airplane hanger.

Lawmakers cut Lee’s anti-abortion center’s funding by 80%

During his initial budget proposal, Lee proposed giving $100 million to crisis pregnancy centers, but lawmakers have cut that amount to $20 million. 

Crisis pregnancy centers are facilities that claim to provide reproductive health care but aim to dissuade women from having an abortion or accessing contraception often through misleading information.

Republicans have latched on to these centers as a way to show they’re supporting pregnancy services after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Some of these centers will offer women resources like clothing, food and counseling.

Other notable items in Tennessee’s budget

  • $3.3 billion for the expansion of highways and a plan to allow toll lanes
  • $350 million for renovations to the Memphis Grizzles basketball arena and the University of Memphis football stadium
  • $50 million for potential prison expansion as part of Tennessee’s new criminal sentencing laws
  • $20 million for public school safety grants
  • $15.5 million for paid family leave for teachers

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Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.