Gas tax alternative defeated in Tennessee House

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Gas tax alternative defeated in Tennessee House

A vote of 60-37 pushed the bill through the House (HB 534) and, according to the Tennesseean, faced a Senate vote less than 30 minutes after being passed in the House.

The report by TRIP was released Tuesday, the day before a House floor vote on Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to raise the gas tax for road improvements. Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, whose amendment was voted down earlier in the day, Matthew and Timothy Hill, Bud Hulsey, Micah Van Huss, Gary Hicks, John Crawford and Tillman Goins voted no.

The gas tax is expected to raise around 378-million dollars per year to improve state roads.

"It's creating an environment in Tennessee where businesses want to be", Doss said, telling lawmakers cuts in business taxes will lead to more jobs and higher pay. "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".

The House is likely to vote to adopt the Senate version of the bill Monday night.

The bill will increase the gas tax by 6 cents and the diesel tax by 10 cents over the next three years, starting with a 4 cent increase on July 1. "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". Since introducing the legislation in January, Haslam has met resistance from within his own party as Republican lawmakers have voiced concern over raising the gas tax.

The difference? The Senate Bill is seeking to increase property tax relief for disabled veterans. Officials expect the act to lower the tax on groceries.

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

Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton of Bean Station has called the bill a "farce" and berated GOP supporters in committees, on the floor and in a press conference.

"If we're going to cut somewhere, that's where we cut", Carter said. I'm a conservative Republican and I'm not going to tax the people.

"When you go to the pump, Republicans did it to you", he said.

"The average voter doesn't like this", Matheny said of the gas-tax increase.

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