The two candidates for House District 93 this November could not be more different.

Democrat incumbent Mike Kernell has occupied this seat since 1974, during which time he has come to be known as a typical tax-’em-’till-they-bleed Democrat. He voted for raising the pay of legislators. He voted for the income tax. And he has sponsored two interesting tax bills:

  • HB 2120 lowers the state sales tax by 3% and removes sales tax from most groceries. But it introduces a graduated income tax. The hook is that 100% of the income tax stays in the county — the first year. Each year after that an additional 10% of that tax goes to the state so that after ten years 100% of the income tax would be going to Nashville.
  • HB 2027 is even worse: it levies a straight 1% payroll tax on every employer in the state with a payroll of more than $50K.

His opponent is Tim Cook, whom I heard speak tonight. Cook has been a public servant for a long, long time. Among other things:

  • 6 years in the Air Force
  • 27 years in the Memphis Police Department, where he is currently the Lieutenant in charge of the Economic Crimes Department (what they used to call Fraud)
  • 20 years as a Special Agent for the Coast Guard Reserves
  • Special Agent Homeland Security: Activated just before the liberation of Iraq and assigned to a Pentagon task force consisting of 31 other reservists. That team caught 47 terrorists in the first 4 months of work.
  • Member of the FBI Gang Task Force

Tim is making taxation the centerpiece of his campaign and vows to vote against the income tax and to kill Kernell’s tax bills.

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