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VOL. 131 | NO. 54 | Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Haslam Supports Giving Cities Power to Hike Local Gas Taxes

AP

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he supports giving cities and counties the power to levy their own gas taxes to help pay for transportation needs.

The governor has been making his case for increasing the state's gas tax for the first time since 1989 as a way to help cover a $6 billion backlog in transportation project funding.

"Roads cost three times as much to build as the last time we passed a road plan, and yet your car gets twice as good mileage as it used to," Haslam said. "That won't work."

But lawmakers have been reluctant to take up the measure in an election year, and the governor has acknowledged that a gas tax is unlikely to be considered this year.

Given that impasse, Haslam was asked at a Tennessee Municipal League conference whether he would support allowing local governments to raise their own transportation money from a gas tax increase.

"Would I be in favor of some sort of local option? I would," Haslam said. "You all realize the danger in that is that if you're at X-cents per gallon, and the next county and next municipality is not, then it's easy to chase business away.

"But that's the stuff that I figure locals know," he said. "They have the ability to weigh the impact on themselves."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 79 321 2,586
MORTGAGES 90 426 3,033
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 37 527
BUILDING PERMITS 153 796 6,864
BANKRUPTCIES 37 213 2,000
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 152 1,311
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 23 100 730
MARRIAGE LICENSES 15 58 432