NFIB files brief in case that would provide vital tax relief for TN, KY small businesses

NASHVILLE — The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky supporting Kentucky and Tennessee in their challenge to the provision of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that would prevent states from using federal funds for state tax relief for small business owners.

“Small businesses are still struggling to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and need as much financial relief as possible,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to relieve some of the financial pressure caused by the pandemic, but a provision that blocks Kentucky, Tennessee and other states from cutting taxes is eroding state sovereignty and hurts local businesses.”

Earlier, Kentucky and Tennessee filed a lawsuit questioning Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act that prevents states from using the funds they receive from the law to offset tax cuts.

NFIB Tennessee State Director Jim Brown said, “With our rebounding economy, Tennessee demonstrated prowess last year in allocating federal relief funds to commonsense tax relief policies. The extraordinary restrictions in the most recent federal legislation should be removed so our state has the flexibility to establish tax policies that will help continue our post-pandemic economic recovery.”

NFIB Kentucky State Director Tom Underwood said, “Small businesses are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 downturn. They can’t afford to pay higher taxes. Kentucky needs the freedom to spend the money from the American Rescue Plan in a way that makes sense for Kentucky.”

Click here to read the brief.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made funds available to states if and only if states agree to not pass any laws or take any administrative actions that decrease their net revenue, whether that decrease comes through tax credits, rebates, reductions in tax credits or new or expanded deductions. NFIB believes the court should block this unprecedented tax mandate and grant the states’ motion for a preliminary injunction.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in over 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

About NFIB

For more than 75 years, NFIB has been the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C. and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit

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