Sales Tax Bill in Tennessee Set to Be Shelved

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A bill that aims to impose a 10-percent sales tax on alarm monitoring in the state is close to being shelved, as the result of intense lobbying against its passage by the state alarm association.

At press time, HB 207, introduced by Rep. Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory), can become inactive by mid-May or June, when the legislative session is expected to end. John Knox, legislative chair for the Tennessee Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (TBFAA), says the association has been lobbying against the bill since it was introduced in February. “We are 99-percent sure we got the bill killed,” Knox says. “We think it’s a very excessive and unfair tax on local alarm companies.”

According to the bill’s sponsor, the sales tax would generate more than $7 million for police and firefighter funding, and other activities not related to alarm response. Carol Roberts, spokesperson for Turner’s office, says that the future of the bill is unknown.

Cecil Hogan, president of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) and whose business is in Tennessee, says the bill’s language does not take into account the different methods of monitoring utilized by security companies. For instance, it does not specify the type of monitoring services that will be taxed. “The bill is by a firefighter who thought it would be a good idea to raise money for firefighters,” he says. “That was pretty scary when we found out about it.”

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