Gov. Phil Bredesen has told Nashville business leaders that he will not seek a state income tax if re-elected in 2006. Bredesen made the same promise before his first term, but had refused to extend the pledge as he campaigns for a second term.

Bredesen said that after one term in office, he's more convinced than ever that a state income tax is not needed for Tennessee. Tennessee is one of nine states without a standard state income tax, although it does collect revenue from dividends and interest.

The statement was criticized by at least one group seeking to lower state sales taxes and enact an income tax, and the state Republican Party accused the Democratic governor of seeking political mileage for his re-election campaign by coming out early against an income tax.

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