KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Americans for Prosperity group hosted the Reignite the American Dream Dinner & Summit at the Meadowview Conference Center on Thursday.
Community members were invited to hear what lawmakers are doing to fight for the American Dream in Tennessee.
Many East Tennessee lawmakers were invited to speak about policies impacting Tennesseans.
U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger, who represents the 1st District of Tennessee, said the number one issue she heard from voters is about the economy.
“When you have to decide whether you’re going to pay for gas and groceries, how they’re going to pay for rent, how are they going to pay just to live,” Harshbarger said. “The wages are not going up to meet the demands of the inflation and that’s a problem. So, they have to make those decisions at the kitchen table.”
Harshbarger said stopping big government spending is how to stop inflation. She said the infrastructure bill helps balance out rising costs.
Tennessee representative Jeremy Faison, who represents the 11th district, also agrees.
“For the next three months, you’re not going to have a grocery tax,” Faison said. “We want to give that back to the people. We have provided a way for infrastructure. We passed $3 billion. The most ever in the history of Tennessee to go back to the locals all across Tennessee to work with the roads, making sure our roads are right. And over the next three years, you’ll see that money being spent and our roads are going to get better.”
Tennessee Senator Frank Niceley, who represents District 8, said he is working on outlawing a statewide property tax.
“That tax needs to be left for the counties, so counties can run their business with the property tax and the state doesn’t need to be tapping into that,” Niceley said.
Niceley said Tennessee is in good enough shape for that to happen.
“The logical thing to do, if we ever got in a real bind and had to have money, the easiest thing for the state to do would be go back to the state property tax, but we will make sure they can’t do that,” Niceley said. “And that just gives them more stability. Tennessee’s in really good shape right now. We have good surpluses. The economy is doing good, unemployment is down.”
Niceley and Faison both said many citizens they’ve talked to would like to be left alone for the most part.
“The majority of my people at home say, ‘hey, can you leave us alone?’ ” Faison said. ” ‘Don’t pass any more laws. Whoever you know in D.C., ask them to just leave us alone. Don’t tax us anymore. We’ve got it from here.’ “
“They don’t want us to do anything crazy,” Niceley said. “They’re beginning to worry about this central bank digital currency that the world banks are talking about. They don’t like that.”
Faison also said he would like for the public to make their voices heard. He encourages people to write and speak to lawmakers about what they would like to see done in Nashville.