By Clint Confehr
Senior Staff Writer
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Sen. Bill Ketron reported last week on the recently concluded session of the Legislature while talking at the Marshall County Republican Party's annual Presidents Dinner.
"We have balanced two budgets in a row with over $1 billion and $800 million in spending cuts and, at the same time, we cut taxes," Ramsey said later that Thursday night, recapping his keynote address.
Sales tax on groceries is being phased out, as is the state income tax on dividend payments and earned interest income. The gift tax on assets transferred from one relative to another is also cut.
"Tennessee is one of only two states with a tax on gifts to descendants," Ramsey said. "We didn't want to be one of two."
There's been a cap on taxing gifts and Republicans have become known for their opposition to taxing assets transferred through a will.
"It matters who governs," the lieutenant governor said, noting that the GOP has "control" of the House, Senate and governor's office.
Ketron said his visit was "bittersweet" since he's represented Marshall County in the Senate for years, but won't starting next year even if he's re-elected. Reapportionment changed is district lines and they don't include Marshall.
Marshall County GOP Chairman Mike Sherrell reported about 200 people attended the dinner in the Lewisburg Recreation Center.
Candidates in the various political races attended and spoke to introduce themselves. They included Billy Spivey, Mark Twain Clemmons and Travis Monroe who are running for the nomination to be the GOP candidate for state House. Brenda Lenard, a candidate challenging U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in the Republican Party Primary, spoke briefly, as did candidates for Marshall County property assessor and sessions court judge.