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Sales Tax Holidays Approach

Updated: Jul 25

This information comes from the office of State Sen. Joey Hensley, 28th District, MD, R-Hohenwald, who represents Giles and five other area counties.

"I’m proud to have supported significant tax cuts for Tennesseans this year, two of which will soon begin," Hensley wrote in his weekly report on state legislative activities.

"One is a suspension of the tax on groceries for the entire month of August, and the other is an annual sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies and computers, which will begin Friday, July 29 and run through Sunday, July 31.

"Both tax cuts will provide financial relief to Tennesseans during this challenging time of rising inflation and food costs.

"While discretionary expenses such as vacations can be reduced or avoided during hard times, the need for groceries, clothing and school-related supplies remains constant.

"My colleagues and I in the General Assembly felt these two tax breaks are the best, most direct ways of providing relief to Tennesseans. They add to over $2 billion cut in taxes by Tennessee lawmakers since 2011."

The month-long grocery sales tax holiday in August applies to food and food ingredients. It does not include prepared food, alcohol, dietary supplements, tobacco or candy. The state will replace lost local revenue, so local government budgets will not be affected by this tax reduction.

Tennessee’s traditional sales tax holiday weekend occurs before students return to school each year and exempts sales tax on clothing items $100 or less, school and art supplies $100 or less, and computers for personal use that are $1,500 or less.

The back-to-school sales tax holiday helps parents, students and teachers with expenses in preparation for the fall semester. Continuing this holiday is more important than ever as families will no doubt see higher costs when shopping for back-to-school items this year.

"I hope all citizens will take advantage of this relief and also shop at local businesses to support jobs and our Tennessee small businesses," Hensley said.

Besides these upcoming sales tax holidays, the General Assembly also approved a one-year suspension of the state’s $29 license plate registration fee, which began July 1 and will be in effect through June 30, 2023.

A total of $121.6 million was appropriated for this financial relief measure that benefits only Tennesseans and not out-of-state residents who shop and do business in the state.

For more information about the sales tax holidays, visit www.tntaxholiday.com

Lawmakers create process for complaints under K-12 ‘critical race theory’ law

Starting Aug. 10, students, parents, school staff and local school board members may file complaints with the state about alleged violations of last year’s law banning certain “prohibited concepts” from being taught in public and charter schools.

If Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn agrees with the complaint, the law requires her to withhold money from school districts in which teachers suggest that, for example, “An individual should not feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex.”

State lawmakers approved the process for how these complaints will be made on July 20, but they offered no more clarity on what exactly teachers can and can’t say.

The legislature’s Joint Government Operations Committee has discussed how to implement the 2021 law protecting students from what some legislators see as indoctrination and banning what they believe to be “critical race theory.”

Public comment period begins on TennCare's fourth amendment requested by the federal government

Tennessee has proposed changes to its TennCare program in response to a federal request late last month for changes to the program.

It would be the fourth amendment to the program, which provides health care services to about 1.2 million low-income and disabled Tennesseans. The updates address requests from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services on June 30 to update pharmacy requirements and present a per-person spending cap instead of an overall program spending cap.

"For a year and a half, the TennCare III waiver has successfully provided the structure to enhance benefits and serve additional Tennesseans in need," said TennCare Director Stephen Smith.

"We are encouraged by CMS' continued support for the core priorities of the program, and this amendment process is an important step in solidifying the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care to our members."

Hensley may be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, TN., 37243 or by calling 615-741-3100, calling toll free at 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100, or by faxing 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald TN., 38462, or he may be reached at 931-796-2018, or by cell phone at 931-212-8823. His E-mail is: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov

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