State Rep. Andy Holt “told a group of local citizens Saturday that Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed gasoline tax increase is unnecessary and ill-timed and that there are better ways to fund road improvements,” the Post-Intelligencer reports.
“Holt argued against the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy or IMPROVE Act, introduced last month by Haslam,” according to the Post-Intelligencer.
“I’m going to get a higher fuel tax and higher increase in goods and services, and a very small decrease in my groceries,” Holt, a Dresden resident, told the crowd, adding:
If you extrapolate all the projects that have been approved by the legislature, and you factor in a highly increased amount of construction costs, and you put that out over a thirty-year period, and you then extrapolate what all those cost increases will be over time, then you can get to eleven billion dollars,” he said.
We’re rated consistently as having the second-, third- or fourth-best road system in the United States of America . . . I think that’s a far cry from a crippling catastrophe that is looming within the next couple of weeks.”
We’re in a surplus environment this year. That doesn’t mean we will be next year or the year after.
“Instead, he favors the plan introduced by his colleague, Rep. David Hawk, R-Greenville, which advocates taking one quarter of 1 percent of the state’s current 7 percent sales tax and diverting it to road construction. That would generate an annual road fund of $291 million,” the Post-Intelligencer reports.
You’re already paying the tax,” Hold said.
That money is flowing into the general fund. And that reoccurring money… is one of the reasons we have a nine hundred million dollar surplus in the state of Tennessee.
The two competing plans–The Hawk Plan and Governor Haslam’s proposed gas tax increase–are scheduled to be considered by the House Transportation Subcommittee this week.