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Tennesee will give $1.6B franchise tax refund, post names of recipients

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(The Center Square) – A conference committee on the repeal and rebate of Tennessee’s business franchise tax agreed on a full three-year refund of the tax worth $1.6 billion and a level of transparency on who will receive those rebates.

The committee report was approved by both the House and Senate and will now head to Gov. Bill Lee.

The committee agreed the Department of Economic and Community Development would post the names of those receiving a rebate for a 30-day period. The conference committee approved its agreement with an 8-2 vote.

The Senate approved the compromise 25-6 and the House approved 69-23.

Businesses will have between May 15 and Nov. 30 to apply for the three-year rebate and then the information will be posted from May 31, 2025 to June 30, 2025 in four categories of businesses that receive $10,000 or more of rebate, those that receive between $751 and $10,000, those who receive $750 or less and those that still have rebates pending.

House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, said this would involve posting a limited amount of private business tax information “for the first time and the last time.” Lamberth was clear this was not a precedent about posting private business tax information moving forward.

Lamberth called the three-year rebate “quite a concession on our side” after the House version of the bill proposed one year of rebate worth $713.6 million.

Lamberth added that 81% of the tax rebate recipients are businesses in Tennessee and 62% are small businesses that will receive refunds of $5,000 or less.

Companies that receive the rebate will be required to sign a waiver to

Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said the publication of business names receive the rebate was a large concession from Senate leadership.

Rep. Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville, disagreed with the refund and said that many times state lawmakers stand tough against the threat of lawsuits while Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s office is currently involved in many lawsuits, including some joining other attorneys general across the country.

“We’re giving away $1.5 billion out of fear,” Mitchell said.

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