Gas Tax Increase Bill Approved

Tennessee lawmakers voted Wednesday to move forward with a plan to raise the state’s gas tax to pay for road and infrastructure costs. Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing a 6 cent per gallon gas tax to pay for $6 billion in road and bridge projects. House lawmakers approved the bill with a 60-37 vote. It passed the Senate with a 25-6 vote. The bill, called the Improve Act, would be the first gas tax increase in Tennessee since 1989. It would increase taxes on gasoline but cut the sales tax on groceries. It would also reduce corporate taxes paid by manufacturers and tax on earnings from stocks and bonds. The proposal now heads back to the House to resolve a difference over property tax relief for veterans, which could delay completion of the legislation for another week. The Senate wants property tax relief for disabled veterans to increase up to $175,000 in property value.