Fireworks erupted on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representativesewhen the typically rapid-fire tick-tock of the day’s agenda was interrupted as Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) questioned Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) on the “special privilege” of professional sports teams re-directing sale tax revenues back to a Nashville municipal organization whose purpose is to promote sporting events and sports teams.
Rep. Sexton drew a strong parallel between the redirection of those funds – which Williams supports – and the redirection a small portion of sales tax revenues for the benefit of road construction, improvements and repairs – which Williams opposes. Williams supports of Gov. Haslam’s plan to raise taxes on gas and diesel to fund road construction instead.
Sexton pointedly called out the hypocrisy of supporters of Haslam’s gas tax increase plan, who claim road construction can only be funded by “user fees” of those who use roads, while sports team stadiums can be funded by those who do not use or attend events at those stadiums.
Sexton made his remarks during a debate “over an unrelated bill on the House floor on Thursday that would redirect sales taxes collected at a proposed Major League Soccer stadium in Nashville to be directed to city’s sports authority,” the Associated Press reported.
Watch the video of the debate on the floor here: