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Massey fills vacated Woodson seat

One irony of Republican Becky Duncan Masseys platform en route to being elected state Senator, District 6, has been saying no to a pair of tax-cutting proposals from her Democratic challenger.

Gloria Johnson, who lost to Massey with roughly 32 percent of the vote during the Tuesday, Nov. 8, specially called election, advocated tax breaks for small businesses and elimination of Sales Tax on groceries.

Though a staunch advocate of low taxes who is against a state Income Tax, Massey said, I dont think that, at least in this next year, were going to be in any position to cut anything that will cut revenue to the state. Im being very realistic, its not going to pass.

As for eliminating Sales Tax from groceries, Id love to do it, but Im a bottom line person, and I know we have to balance our budget, Massey said.

Meanwhile, I still think the No. 1 way to help existing businesses is with regulatory relief, Massey said. I mean, Id love to give all kinds of tax breaks, but were facing some tough economic times in Tennessee.

We have to be responsible. ... I know there are definitely times and theres days that will show that a certain tax break will give us a bigger return. I will support those initiatives.

Though in favor of teacher evaluations, Massey said the four-per-school-year evaluations could be excessive, draining precious teaching and administrating time away from principals and teachers.

Its almost too much; on the surface, thats what it appears, she said. I think weve got to tweak the system. The evaluations right now [are] set up the same for librarians as it is for the classrooms. I dont think thats the best way.

Before Januarys 108th General Assembly convenes, Im going to meet with several small groups of teachers, and just talk to them about their concerns, Massey said.

Theres a lot of frustrations among a lot of the teachers right now. ... Almost without exception, every teacher Ive talked to is frustrated by it.

Massey said she agrees with Johnsons campaign declaration against taking tax dollars to fund private school vouchers.

At this point in time Id say I wouldnt support [vouchers], Massey said. I personally feel like it is the states responsibility to make sure our public education is as good as it can be.


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