Competitiveness

Tennessee Business Roundtable members believe strongly that one of the pillars of Tennessee’s economy is a business climate with sensible tax and regulatory burdens and sound state fiscal policies. The Roundtable opposes policies and initiatives that might negatively affect Tennessee’s ability to remain competitive.

Competitiveness Policy Platform

Make state projects to relieve commercial and commuter highway congestion a top priority for planning, ROW acquisition, engineering, and completion, second only to critical safety repairs.

  • To ensure Tennessee’s competitiveness with other states, we must make improving the efficient flow of commercial goods and employees within and through our state our top priority, second only to safety.
  • TBR supports the further acceleration and completion of those state surface transportation projects offering the greatest efficiency returns on investment to our state’s economy, second only to safety.

Make Tennessee’s franchise & excise tax rates more competitive with those of other Southeast states.

  • While Tennessee is a low-tax state generally, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation our corporate tax burden is higher than in all six other Southeastern states (NC, FL, GA, MS, SC, AL) and also higher than in neighboring Missouri and Virginia. This poses a barrier to investment and jobs.
  • Tennessee should reduce its franchise and excise taxes to levels closer to other Southeast states.

Preserve Tennessee employers’ rights to control firearms and other risks on their property.

  • Firearms possess great capacity to inflict damage to property, and injury or death to persons, and are widely available. As such, they pose clear risks for business property owners, who are responsible for managing risks to themselves, employees, customers and others, and who should be able to do so.
  • Employers’ rights to permit or prohibit firearms possession on company property must be protected.

Protect and improve Tennessee’s Worker’s Compensation and Unemployment Insurance programs.

  • Our state’s business community has worked successfully with multiple General Assemblies and Governors to enact sensible reforms that have broadly improved our state’s WC and UI programs.
  • As primary funders and executors of our state’s Work Comp and UI programs, Tennessee’s business operators must continue to be consulted and their views fully considered on future WC or UI reforms.

Keep Tennessee welcome to all persons who want to contribute to our workforce and economy.

  • Tennessee business leaders know that in order for our state to continue to lead on jobs and economic growth, we must welcome all who want to contribute to our state. Retreating on inclusion and signaling “not welcome” to targeted groups sends the wrong messages to human and financial capital.
  • Our Roundtable opposes policies targeting persons for unequal treatment on the basis of national origin, sexual orientation, religion, and other constitutionally-protected characteristics.

Keep Tennessee’s regulatory “playing field” fair for alternative & advanced energy development.

  • As a non-densely-populated state with room to develop facilities that generate energy from natural, renewable sources, plus growing human and technological resources, Tennessee has opportunities to become a leader in developing alternative and advanced energy resources to power economic growth.
  • TBR supports restricting government regulations on business to those necessary to ensure safety and fair competition, including regulations affecting alternative and advanced energy development.

Fight the opioid abuse threatening Tennessee’s workforce productivity and business reputation.

  • Over-prescription and abuse of opiates threatens Tennessee’s workforce participation and productivity.
  • TBR supports continued reforms which treat providers fairly and combat opioid abuse effectively.

Policy in Action

The Tennessee Business Roundtable favors changes to our nation’s current tax system that promote the growth of Tennessee’s economy, and the well-being and success of Tennessee families. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate of all industrialized countries, which hinders not only investments in and by Tennessee companies, but also job opportunities and higher wages for our state’s workers. Tennessee job-creators and wage-earners need and deserve relief from high rates, complex rules and competitive disadvantages created by the current system.

Tennessee’s economic success, both today and tomorrow, relies upon its ability to efficiently move goods and people within and through our state—especially for vital Tennessee business sectors like manufacturing, logistics and agriculture. Tennessee Business Rountable supports updating TN’s user-fee-based transportation funding system to meet 21st-century realities. 

Judicial Selection

The Tennessee Business Roundtable strongly supports our constitutional system of three distinct branches of government with a strong and independent judicial branch. An independent judiciary is absolutely essential for a government of laws and a system of commerce that can flourish to provide good jobs for our citizens. For that reason, TBR supported and advocated in favor of Constitutional Amendment 2 which ultimately passed in 2014.