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Politics

Mid-state lawmaker comes out in opposition to a gax tax hike

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tn.gov
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The chairman of the state Senate transportation committee has come out against raising Tennessee's gas tax next year.

Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville heads the transportation panel in the upper chamber. He says there isn't enough time to put together a comprehensive road funding proposal for the upcoming legislative session.

Tennessee hasn’t increased its tax on gasoline since 1989.

While Gov. Bill Haslam hasn’t suggested a hike in the gas tax so far, he does say the state must find sustainable funding for roads and other infrastructure. In a recent YouTube video, the Governor noted Tennessee now has a backlog of $6 billion worth of unfunded projects.

“We have to face difficult issues and this is one. I’m not here to propose a specific solution. There will be plenty of time for that. I am here to say it won’t work long-term and we have to begin looking long-term at what are the alternatives when we have to address it.”

In addition to Senator Tracey, several other prominent Tennessee Republicans have also come out early in opposition to a higher gas tax, including House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris.