Tenn. political leaders put off gas tax talk despite needs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Political leaders in Tennessee agree on the growing need to bolster funding for road building and maintenance, but there's little consensus about how go about doing it.
Tennessee's 21.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax hasn't been raised in 25 years, and a recent study by the state comptroller found the state's fuel taxes are insufficient to maintain existing infrastructure and meet long-term transportation needs.
While Republican Gov. Bill Haslam recently acknowledged that "we need to do something on the gas tax," he has indicated he won't introduce any legislation on the subject this year.
Tennessee's combined state and federal funding for highway spending was the lowest in the country at $283 per person in 2008. That spending rate increased to $337 per person in 2013, but was still sixth lowest in the country.