House Republican Conservatives Put Up a Valiant Fight Against Gov. Haslam’s Gas Tax Increase, Setting Stage for 2018 Election

  When the Tennessee House of Representatives passed Governor Haslam’s gas tax increase bill by a 60 to 37 margin on Wednesday, a bare majority of Republicans–37 for and 35 against—voted yes in favor of the unpopular tax increase. The 35 conservative Republicans who stood for the foundational principle of…

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The 962 Road Construction Projects Costing $10.5 Billion in The Gas Tax Increase Bill Can Be ‘Modified’ by TDOT

Tennessee Star

  Governor Haslam and other administration officials have stated since announcing the IMPROVE Act , now the “Tax Cut Act of 2017,” on January 18 that the purpose of the gas and diesel tax increases included in the bill is to fund 962 needed road construction projects in all 95 counties for a…

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Gas Tax Increase Passes House Finance Committee on a Voice Vote

Tennessee Star

  Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin), chairman of the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, presided over a voice vote on Tuesday that advanced the controversial IMPROVE Act “Tax Cut Act of 2017” to the Calendar and Rules Committee, where it awaits scheduling for a vote on the floor of the full…

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Speaker Harwell Says She Will Have a Road Funding Plan That Does Not Raise The Gas Tax

Tennessee Star

  Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) says that she and many other members of the Tennessee House of Representatives will introduce an alternative plan that will not increase gas taxes when the IMPROVE Act “Tax Cut Act of 2017” comes before the House Finance Ways and Means Committee on Monday for consideration.…

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Americans For Prosperity To Hold ‘A Gas Tax Day Of Action’ In Speaker Harwell’s District

Tennessee Star

  Americans For Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP) announced ‘A Day of Action’ in the fight against the gas tax hike in the home district of Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), in order to encourage her to oppose the unpopular measure. Volunteers will be door-knocking all day Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 5…

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Tennessee Republican Assembly Calls for Ethics Investigation of Boss Doss Over TDOT Contracts

Tennessee Star

The Tennessee Republican Assembly has asked Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) to begin an ethics investigation of the business conduct of State Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma), a vocal supporter of Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase proposal, over potential Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) contracts for his firm. “The Tennessee Republican Assembly…

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Concerned Veterans of America: ‘Veterans Being Used in Tennessee Tax Hike Ploy’

Tennessee Star

Concerned Veterans of America (CVA)  blasted Tennessee’s Republican political establishment on Monday for using veterans in a “Tennessee [gas] tax hike ploy.” “The politicians pushing for this gas tax increase know that it’s unpopular, so they’ve resorted to using veterans as pawns to push their big government agenda. Pretending that…

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Boss Doss Breaks Rules to Ram Amended Gas Tax Increase Through House Transportation Committee

Tennessee Star

In a stunning abuse of power, State Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) broke a long-standing rule of the Tennessee House of Representatives to ram an amended version of Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase through the House Transportation Committee he chairs on Tuesday. A bill containing the new and improved IMPROVE Act…

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Under Governor Haslam, Tennessee Department of Transportation ‘Overhead’ Costs Have Grown 63 Percent, While ‘Highway Infrastructure’ Spending Has Shrunk By 33 Percent

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) total costs for “Administration” plus “Headquarters Operation,” what would be considered “overhead” in the business world, have grown by 63 percent, from $78.9 to $117 million, in the seven years between Gov. Haslam’s first budget in FY 2011-12 and his  proposed budget for FY…

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Metro Transit Authority CEO Steve Bland Asks Nashville Mayor Megan Barry for $85 Million Increase in Capital Budget

“The Metro Transit Authority asked Nashville Mayor Megan Barry for a 427 percent capital budget increase on Monday,” Fox 17 WZTV reports. MTA’s request for this quadrupling of its capital budget comes as the Tennessee General Assembly is debating Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act proposal, which would increase gas taxes by…

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Carr Amendment Funds Highways Through ‘User Fees’ Without A Gas Tax Increase

The House Transportation Committee convenes on Tuesday to vote on Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act. The big question is whether Committee Chairman State Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) will allow a vote on an amendment proposed by State Rep. Dale Carr (R-Sevierville), a member of the committee, that would change the funding source of  from…

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House Transportation Committee Fails To Advance IMPROVE Act, Despite Multiple Tactics By Chairman Doss

  The House Transportation Committee failed to advance Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act (HB 0534) on Tuesday, despite multiple tactics employed by Chairman State Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma), a vigorous proponent of the governor’s gas tax increase proposal, to accomplish that outcome. The committee voted instead to roll the vote over…

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Senate Transportation Committee Approves 15 Percent Increase in TDOT Budget That Includes $278 Million From IMPROVE Act Funding

Tennessee Star

The State Senate Transportation Committee voted on Monday to approve the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) 2017-18 budget of $2.2 billion, an increase of 15 percent over the 2016-17 budget of $1.9 billion. Five members of the committee voted in favor of the increased funding, while three passed on the…

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State Rep. Susan Lynn Confirms User Fees are ‘Diverted From the Highway Fund’ in Email Sent to Entire Tennessee General Assembly

“I actually have a slide in my town hall presentation that shows why money is diverted from the Highway Fund and where it goes,” State Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) told a constituent in an email, confirming The Tennessee Star’s report that Highway Fund user fees are being allocated to the…

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Haslam’s IMPROVE Act Forced Through House Subcommittee in Rare Political Power Play as Speaker Pro Tem Brought in To Break Tie

Tennessee Star

Through a series of political maneuvers, Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act has advanced from the House Transportation Subcommittee to the full House Transportation Committee, thanks to the rare tie-breaking vote cast by Speaker Pro Tem State Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville).  Johnson was brought in at the last minute to the House…

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Standing-Room-Only Crowds Greet the Transportation Subcommittee As They Meet to Vote on Gas Tax Increase

  Standing room only crowds gathered to greet the Transportation Subcommittee as they are set to vote on the increasingly unpopular Haslam Gas Tax increase. The Tennessee Star crew arrived early. The room was full by 10:45am for the 12pm meeting… more updates on Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/TennesseeStar/photos/a.740586622765568.1073741828.728742650616632/753027384854825/?type=3   https://www.facebook.com/TennesseeStar/posts/753022778188619   https://www.facebook.com/TennesseeStar/posts/753022231522007…

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25 Percent of Highway Fund ‘User Fees’ Are Allocated to General Fund, Education, and Debt

One of the principles asserted by Governor Haslam in support of his IMPROVE Act and its proposed increase of 7 cents per gallon in the gas tax is that “users” of roads should pay for road construction. The gas tax is proper, he argues, because people who purchase gas to fuel…

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Gov. Haslam Has Cut State’s Portion of Highway Fund Budget by $56 Million Annually, Compared to Predecessor

Tennessee Star - Gov Haslam

During the six years he has served as the head of Tennessee’s state government, Gov. Haslam has cut the state’s portion of the Highway Fund budget by an annual average of $56 million when compared to his predecessor, Gov. Phil Bredesen. In the last six years of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s…

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More Unanswered Questions at Gov. Haslam’s Sumner County Gas Tax Town Hall

On Wednesday evening, Governor Haslam spoke about his proposed 7 cent gas tax and 12 cent diesel tax increase at Sumner County’s Station Camp High School to a group of about 300 people, around 100 of whom received a personal email invitation from County Executive Anthony Holt. The governor, joined…

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House Transportation Subcommittee Adjourns Before Any Action Taken on Road Funding Proposals.

The House Transportation Subcommittee adjourned suddenly on Wednesday after State Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) presented his alternative road funding plan. A report late Wednesday in The Chattanooga Times Free Press makes it clear that State Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) (pictured in the headline image), a member of the subcommittee, “who is chairman…

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House Transportation Subcommittee Vote on Haslam Gas Tax Scheduled Today, No Representative from Pilot Flying J Has Yet Been Called to Testify

The first test of Gov. Haslam’s proposal to increase the gas tax to fund road construction is scheduled to take place when the House Subcommittee on Transportation votes today on whether to move the bill to the full Transportation Committee. The Subcommittee has heard testimony from various supporters and opponents…

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State Rep. David Alexander Changes Mind on Gas Tax Increase After Dinner With the Governor

A key member of the House Subcommittee on Transportation who has previously stated his opposition to Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase proposal has changed his mind. In an exclusive interview with The Tennessee Star, State Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester), who many thought would vote to kill the governor’s gas tax…

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Gov. Haslam Gets Tough Questions From Informed Crowd at Franklin County Gas Tax Town Hall

Governor Haslam appeared nervous and off his game Monday night, as he was peppered with questions he could not answer at a “gas tax town hall” tour stop at the Franklin County Annex Building in Winchester. After giving 30 minutes of opening comments to the standing-room-only crowd of about 150…

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Former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey: ‘I Have Never Felt the Need to Have Anything in Writing’ From Legal Counsel on Consultant Role to Pro-Gas Tax Group

Former Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey tells The Tennessee Star that his legal counsel, James Weaver, a partner with the prestigious Nashville law firm Waller Lansden Dorch & Davis, who has advised him that his appearance at a WWTN Gas Tax Town Hall to advocate in favor of Gov. Haslam’s gas…

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