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Politics

Haslam's on-again, off-again gas tax could return this year

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State of Tennessee
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's on-again, off-again gas tax hike could return this year. Maybe.

The governor spent much of last fall traveling across the state to draw attention to the state's transportation funding needs, but said at the start of this year's legislative session that he didn't think there was enough support to take up the matter this year.

But the governor told reporters on Tuesday that he is having aides survey lawmakers about whether road project needs in their districts are pressing enough that they are now willing to get behind the state's first gas tax increase since 1989. The governor has said the state has a more than $6 billion backlog of road projects.

Haslam said the scope of any road proposal would be based on lawmakers' feedback.