MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Tennessee gas tax bill passes Senate, House

(Tennessee Gov)

UPDATE:

The Tennessee Senate has approved Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposal, which includes the state's first gas tax increase since 1989.

Senators voted 25-6 on Wednesday for the Republican governor's roads package, which also cuts other taxes. It heads back to the House to resolve a difference over property tax relief for veterans.

The Senate wants property tax relief for disabled veterans to increase to up to $175,000 in property value. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville deemed the proposal an overall tax break.

The bill cuts the sales tax on groceries, corporate taxes on manufacturers and the tax on earnings from stocks and bonds.

Gov. Bill Haslam today issued the following statement on the General Assembly’s actions regarding the IMPROVE Act:

“The IMPROVE Act is the largest tax cut in Tennessee history, makes us more competitive as we’re recruiting manufacturing jobs and keeps our transportation network safe, reliable and debt-free for the next generation of Tennesseans. While there remains action to be taken on this legislation, I want to thank both chambers for their votes today on the IMPROVE Act, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Reps. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) and Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) for their work carrying the legislation.”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry provided the following statement after the bill passed:

This is a momentous day in Tennessee, as the General Assembly has voted to move our state forward on building the transportation infrastructure we need to remain competitive economically and improve the quality of life of our residents. I want to thank the entire Davidson County delegation for voting in support of Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, which contained the critical local option component that will let voters determine the future of transit in the Nashville area.

“I want to especially thank Governor Haslam, House Transportation Chairman Barry Doss, Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris, House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh, the Middle Tennessee Mayors’ Caucus, and the many other groups and individuals who worked hard to pass this bill. While there is still work to be done to reconcile the legislation, I am confident that Governor Haslam will have the opportunity to sign this bill into law.”

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said in a statement that the passing of the IMPROVE Act is a remarkable achievement.

"The plans passed by the House and Senate today represent a clear and undisputed tax cut for the people of Tennessee -- the largest such tax cut in Tennessee history. It is a remarkable achievement. Both plans protect our user fee, ensure our continued fiscal stability and maintain of our Triple-A bond rating. It is a victory on all fronts -- for taxpayers, for economic development and for the continued mobility and safety of our citizens. Good roads and solid infrastructure lead to economic expansion and job growth. Tax cuts result in more money in the pockets of our citizens and more entrepreneurism in our state. I am hopeful that the House can add property tax relief for veterans and the elderly to the bill so the General Assembly can officially send the governor the largest tax cut in Tennessee history for his signature."

The Tennessee Transit Coalition in support of the IMPROVE Act's passing.

“The Tennessee Transit Coalition applauds today’s votes in the House and Senate in support of Gov. Bill Haslam’s comprehensive infrastructure proposal known as the IMPROVE Act,” said Jason Spain, executive director of the Tennessee Public Transportation Association (TPTA). “We support the IMPROVE Act because it offers a long-term, sustainable funding solution for our future infrastructure needs, including transit, in a fiscally responsible way. It also allows for some cities and counties to raise dedicated funds for future transit projects through a local public referendum. Today’s votes are an important step forward. We’re hopeful that the members of the House and Senate are able to reconcile the small differences in the bills and deliver a final piece of legislation to Gov. Haslam that responsibly funds our infrastructure needs.”

__________________________________________________________________________________

LIVE: Senate votes on Haslam's gas tax bill


UPDATE: 3:30p.m.)

3 p.m.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposal that would also include Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 has passed the Tennessee House.

The chamber approved the bill on a 60-37 vote on Wednesday after a marathon debate and dozens of failed amendments. The bill now heads to the Senate where the measure has met with little resistance so far.

Efforts supported by House leadership to strip the gas tax out of the bill fell well short in a floor vote. That proposal would have instead funded new road and bridge projects by redirecting revenues collected from the sales tax on new and used vehicle purchases.

The bill also includes a cut in the sales tax on groceries, corporate taxes on manufacturers and the tax on earnings from stocks and bonds.


UPDATE: (3 p.m.)

An effort to strip a gas tax hike out of Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposal has failed in the Tennessee House.

The chamber voted 58-38 on Wednesday against the proposal by Republican Rep. David Hawk of Greenville to instead pay for the road and bridge projects with taxes collected in the sale of new and used vehicles.

The chamber earlier voted 61-35 in favor of the governor's original proposal that would also cut the sales tax on groceries, corporate taxes paid by manufacturers and the tax on earnings from stocks and bonds.

A final vote on the bill was expected later in the floor session.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's road and bridge funding bill has earned a strong majority of votes in a preliminary vote in the Tennessee House.

The chamber voted 61-35 to approve the governor's proposal to pay for new projects in large part through the state's first gas tax hike since 1989, while also cutting other taxes.

A final vote on the bill wasn't expected until later in Wednesday's floor session, and opponents hoped to amend the bill to strip out the gas tax and instead dedicate sales tax revenues from auto sales to highway funding.

Haslam says his approach is fairest because up to half of fuel taxes are paid for by trucking companies and out-of-state drivers. Sales taxes on vehicles are only paid on cars and trucks registered in Tennessee.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's road and bridge funding bill is headed for a showdown in the Tennessee House on Wednesday.

The sticking point is the governor's proposal to pay for new projects in large part through the state's first gas tax hike since 1989.

Supporters argue that a package of tax cuts made in the bill outweigh the amount raised from the fuel tax increases.

Opponents are calling for the fuel tax hikes to be stripped from the bill and to instead dedicate sales tax revenues from auto sales to highway funding.

Haslam says his approach is fairest because about half of fuel taxes are paid for by trucking companies and out of state drivers. Meanwhile, sales taxes on vehicle purchases are paid only on vehicles registered in Tennessee.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Trending