Jan. 7

Jan. 7

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., on saving the sales-tax deduction:

No matter which side of the fiscal cliff debate Tennesseans took, the compromise deal Congress and the president reached has one provision that will help some of the state’s citizens when they file their federal income taxes.

Taxpayers in states that do not have state income taxes — including Tennessee — can continue to deduct sales taxes on their federal income tax forms, if they itemize. That means the roughly 25 percent of Tennessee filers who do itemize will save an average of about $400.

U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher, both of whom voted against the bill, still praised the sales tax-deduction extension. Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen was the only House member from Tennessee who voted for the bill.

Fincher’s and Blackburn’s comments about the sales tax deduction and their no votes on the compromise could be viewed as talking out of both sides of their mouths. But it is not out of place for them to favor one provision of a bill, but still have enough concern about other provisions to vote no. That is especially true in Blackburn’s case, because she worked to have the deduction restored in 2004.

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