State Rep. Jerry Sexton Calls Out Hypocrisy of Gas Tax Supporters Who Oppose Use of Sales Taxes for Road Construction

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…

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Former Tennessee Trade Secretary Tapped for Ambassador to Japan

Tennessee Star

  The Associated Press reports President Trump has nominated William Francis Hagerty IV as Ambassador to Japan. Bill Hagerty, the co-founder of private-equity firm Hagerty Peterson and Company, is not a newcomer to politics. Earlier in his career, he served in the HW Bush Administration as a White House Fellow, reporting…

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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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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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State Senate Transportation Committee Passes Amended Gas Tax Hike

The State Senate Transportation Committee passed an amended version of Gov. Haslam’s Gas Tax hike (SB 1221) on Monday. Among the changes were a removal of the inflation indexing provision, a cut in the governor’s proposed gas tax increase from 7 cents per gallon to 6 cents per gallon, and a…

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‘Leadership Tennessee’ Promotes Political Agenda While Claiming to Be Non-Partisan

“Leadership Tennessee” the 10-month leadership education program hosted by Lipscomb University and funded in part by The Haslam Foundation, Haslam family’s Flying Pilot J, the Hyde Family Foundation and the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, whose board at one time included Haslam, says it’s mission is to “foster[s] collaborative, non-partisan dialogue…”…

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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 Andy Holt Skewers pro-Gax Tax Hike Republicans in Blistering Facebook Rant

Tennessee Star - Rep. Andy Holt

Wednesday afternoon, State Representative Andy Holt let loose with a blistering rant against the House Transportation Committee’s arcane maneuvers to pass Gov Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, going so far as to include a photo of a bag of thirty pieces of silver. Via Facebook: Well everyone, The Governor’s gas tax…

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Letter to the Editor: Today’s Shenanigans at House Transportation Subcommittee Deflate Tennessee Taxpayers

Tennessee Star

  Dear Tennessee Star, Conference room 16 was packed with an overflow standing room only crowd of “Ax the Tax” folks, and they listened respectfully to every word. The Gas Can Man was there bigger than life and getting all kinds of photo ops. Yet, in the end, the Tennessee…

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Gas Can Man Leads Opposition to Haslam Tax Increase

Tennessee Star - Gas Can Man

    Gas Can Man cheered gas tax opponents at Wednesday’s legislative hearing. Making his grand entrance before the hearing, Gas Can Man strode in the room carrying a sign reading, “Haslam’s a Pain In My Gas.” Clearly the rock star of the event, he was photographed and videorecorded by…

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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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Nashville Talk Radio Led Opposition to Sundquist Income Tax But Is Split on Haslam Gas Tax

Tennessee Star - Steve Gill v Ralph Bristol

When former Gov. Don Sundquist proposed imposing a state income tax on residents of Tennessee in 1999, Nashville talk radio hosts Steve Gill and Phil Valentine led the horn-honking opposition that ultimately killed the unpopular proposal three years later in 2002. It is a different media landscape in 2017, as…

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Commentary by Steve Gill: It’s Not About the Roads!

Tennessee Star - Steve Gill

As Governor Bill Haslam continues to tout the need for a massive tax increase in order to fund road and bridge construction and maintenance in Tennessee it is increasingly clear that the well-funded and heavily lobbied campaign for higher taxes actually has nothing to do with roads. It is actually…

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Commentary: Oppose Wednesday’s Vote to Raise Tennessee’s Gas Tax

There’s no denying that Tennessee’s infrastructure is in need of repair. But Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed gas tax increases to fund the projects—which the state House of Representatives will vote on this Wednesday – isn’t the right solution. Instead, lawmakers should use money already in the state budget, which is more…

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Shenanigans at the State Capital

Tennessee Star Letter to the Editor - Shenanigans at the State House

  Dear Tennessee Star, Shenanigans at the State Capitol never cease. The proposed Gas Tax is a tax that will definitely affect every single Tennessee citizen in more ways than one. The Transportation House Sub Committee suddenly adjourned their meeting last week and the next meeting is at HIGH NOON, March 1 in LP…

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Dept. of Revenue Confirms Pilot Flying J Will Hold on to Extra Cash from Gas Tax Increase for 20 to 51 Days

Last week The Tennessee Star asked State Sen. Paul Bailey, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and general manager and vice-president of Charles Bailey Trucking Company, about the possible impact Gov. Haslam’s proposed gas tax increase will have on Pilot Flying J’s business operations and whether it would be in the…

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Governor’s ‘Transparent Tennessee’ Does Not Apply to Fuel Tax

Three years ago when the “Transparent Tennessee” website was launched, Governor Haslam said: “A state government that is accountable to Tennessee taxpayers is an important part of being customer-focused, efficient and effective. The advanced function of this website will allow citizens more access to information about how state dollars are…

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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 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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Pure Foods Goes Bankrupt After Benefiting From $1.2 Million in Tennessee State Economic Development Funds

Less than two weeks before Governor Haslam introduced his IMPROVE Act centered on a gas tax increase for road funding, Pure Foods, Inc., a recipient of $1.2 million in state economic development funds, filed for bankruptcy.   The $1. 2 million from the state’s FastTrack Economic Development (ED) Fund did…

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Gov. Haslam Announces Steven Smith ‘Will Lead Administration’s Efforts on the IMPROVE Act’

Gov. Haslam announced on Monday that Steven Smith “who currently serves as senior advisor for policy and strategy, will become senior advisor to the governor.” “In his new role, Smith will lead the administration’s efforts on the IMPROVE Act [Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy], the…

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Details of Gov. Haslam’s Gas Tax Proposal From His State of the State Address

Gov. Haslam dedicated about one-third of his State of the State address, delivered to the General Assembly on January 30, to his gas tax proposal. Haslam refers to his proposal using the acronym in the bill that includes the details: the IMPROVE Act (Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for…

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Gov. Haslam Proposes Free Community College For ‘All Adults’ in State of the State Address

Gov. Haslam proposed free community college for “all adults” in his State of the State address last Monday “I am proposing that Tennessee become the first state in the nation to offer all adults access to community college free of tuition and fees,” Haslam said: Just like the Tennessee Promise,…

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Ralph Bristol’s Exclusive Interview With Gov. Haslam About His Gas Tax Proposal

One day after he announced his proposal to increase the tax on gas by 7 cents, from 21 cents per gallon to 28 cents per gallon, Gov. Bill Haslam gave an exclusive in-studio interview to Ralph Bristol, host of Nashville’s Morning News on 99.7 FM, WWTN, on January 18. Haslam…

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How Will Gov. Haslam’s Gas Tax Proposal Impact His Family’s Pilot Flying J Company?

Gov. Haslam’s proposal to increase the gas tax by 7 cents per gallon and the diesel tax by 12 cents per gallon will have an impact on the family-owned Pilot Flying J company, which “operates over 650 travel centers in 43 states and Canada,” 31 of which are located in Tennessee, and…

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Grassroots Pundit: What Does Governor Haslam’s Revenue Neutral Gas Tax Increase Mean to Tennessee Families?

Family

Governor Haslam introduced his “revenue neutral” IMPROVE Act (Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy) late last month. The proposed bill focuses primarily on increasing the fuel (gas and diesel) tax to fund transportation initiatives and offsetting the increases with other tax cuts. Under the governor’s proposal,…

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