DESPERATE: Laughingstock Boss Doss Renames Failing ‘IMPROVE Act’ Gas Tax Increase to ‘Tax Cut Act of 2017’

Tennessee Star


Peals of laughter echoed through the House Finance sub-committee chamber Wednesday as Transportation Committee Chairman Rep Barry “Boss” Doss (R-Leoma) moved an amendment renaming the troubled legislation increasing fuel taxes known as the ‘IMPROVE Act’ to the ‘Tax Cut Act of 2017.’

Proponents of the bill have been claiming it is revenue neutral, despite the fact that they are using tax cuts passed in previous years to balance against the huge fuel tax increases contained in the legislation aimed at increasing road funding by approximately $300 million per year. Now, proponents are rebranding the legislation again as a “tax cut” despite the fact that the primary “cuts” flow only to a few dozen large manufacturing companies.

Last month, Boss Doss blatantly broke House rules to ram Gov. Haslam’s gas tax proposal – then known as the IMPROVE Act – through the House Transportation Committee he chairs.

Tennessee StarOn Monday State Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) and 16 other members of the House called on Speaker Beth Harwell to send the bill back to the House Transportation Subcommittee for a “fair and open debate.”

On Tuesday Speaker Harwell’s office told The Tennessee Star she did not have the legal authority to do that under House rules.

Rep. Gerald McCormick made the motion to change the name of the act, which was greeted with derisive laughter from those in the room, but the amendment renaming the legislation passed unanimously nevertheless.

Taxpayers will note the details of the ailing measure remain untouched, only the name has changed. Most Tennesseans will see large increases in what they will pay at the gasoline and diesel pumps, with minor savings in the food tax charged at grocery stores.

“As this stands, this renamed road bill is still and always has been a tax increase for the overwhelming majority of Tennesseans who will be paying more at the gas station and more for their purchases at the grocery store delivered by diesel fueled trucks,” Tennessee Americans for Prosperity Director Andy Ogles said. “You can put lipstick on a pig and call it pretty, but it is still a pig.”

Rep. Judd Matheny pointed out that: “Shakespeare wrote that a ‘rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ The Tennessee legislative version written by the Republican leadership should presumably read “cow manure renamed beef brisket still stinks!”

Political strategist and conservative commentator Steve Gill said that the impact of the bill itself defines it more than the name at the top of the paperwork. “When working men and women in Tennessee end up paying MORE in taxes rather than LESS that is a tax INCREASE, not a CUT. Voters understand that, and those who vote for this deceptive bill will understand it as well in August 2018 Republican primaries when the voters help explain it in terms that politicians best understand.”



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10 Thoughts to “DESPERATE: Laughingstock Boss Doss Renames Failing ‘IMPROVE Act’ Gas Tax Increase to ‘Tax Cut Act of 2017’”

  1. […] Barry Doss’s role as champion of the IMPROVE Act, breaking rules and renaming it the Tax Cut Act of 2017, calls for an ethics investigation, and, subsequent to the passage of the Act, his provocative road […]

  2. […] County and both voted against Haslam’s IMPROVE Act which House sponsor Rep. Boss Doss renamed the “Tax Cut Act of […]

  3. […] State Representative Susan Lynn has an email newsletter called the Weekly Wrap. She has recently taken time off from selling Gov. Haslam’s re-branding of Common Core in Tennessee to selling Gov. Haslam’s massive fuel tax increases called the IMPROVE Act, while ignoring the $2 BILLION surplus in over-taxation the state is currently burdened with. Rep. Lynn engages in some….interesting….mathematics in justifying Haslam’s fuel tax increase to declare it “pocketbook neutral”. Meanwhile the Transportation Department is, like the Common Core tactic that worked so well, simply renaming the massive tax increase measure the “Tax Cut Act of 2017“. […]

  4. […] Mr. Smith, and others, were dismayed by the “shenanigans” that took place in that meeting to push the gas tax through, going against the wishes of so many citizens that were obviously against the gas tax.  He continues to follow the developments closely, including the recent renaming of the bill. […]

  5. […] Though Doss’ proposal was met with peals of laughter, the subcommittee approved the name change, and forwarded it to the full House Finance Ways and Means Committee for consideration on Monday. […]

  6. […] Though Doss’ proposal was met with peals of laughter, the subcommittee ultimately approved the change in the bill’s name, and also forwarded it to the full House Finance Ways and Means Committee for consideration on Monday. […]

  7. James Short

    Funny how every time we have a surplus the politicians come up with ways to spend it instead of using it as a rainy day fund. Any surplus means we have overpaid our taxes. We should be refunded any surplus. Drain the swamp.

  8. […] to expose the truth that the flawed bill will raise taxes on most Tennesseans, according to the Tennessee Star, Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) and Rep. Gerald McCormick […]

  9. […] tax increase is the more common term applied to Governor Haslam’s IMPROVE Act – recently renamed the “Tax Cut Act of 2017” – which, in its current form, includes a 6 cent per […]