Late Friday, Sen. Lamar Alexander committed to work toward ensuring a provision that allows Tennesseans to deduct their state income taxes from their federal income tax payments.
The senator made his announcement in conjunction with Tennessee 7th District Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who worked to have the provision restored in 2004. Since its implementation, the deduction has been extended by Congress in two-year increments—bringing it up for extension once more in 2012.
In a news release, Alexander said preserving the sales tax deduction was an issue of fairness.
"Tennesseans shouldn't pay a greater share of taxes than other taxpayers simply because we pay sales tax instead of income tax," Alexander said. "Preserving this deduction is a matter of fairness, and it will keep an average of $400 in the pockets of more than half a million Tennesseans who itemize their taxes."
According to the senator's office, approximately 561,000 Tennesseans claimed the deduction on their taxes in 2010.
Along with Tennessee, seven states collect no taxes on income—Alaska, Texas, Florida, Wyoming, Washington, South Dakota and Nevada. By deducting state income taxes from their federal tax obligation, Alexander's office said taxpayers in these states can "be on equal footing" with taxpayers in other states.