In his bid to raise fuel taxes to fund road repairs, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam cites willingness from the trucking industry to pay more at the pump for better roads in the future.
Last week Haslam unveiled a $10 billion infrastructure proposal — a list of over 900 road and bridge improvement projects.
To fund the road work, Haslam wants to increase the tax on gasoline by 7 cents per gallon and the tax on diesel fuel by 12 cents per gallon. This would be the first fuel tax increase in the state of Tennessee since 1989.
Other Tennessee lawmakers have been less than enthusiastic about Haslam’s proposal because their constituents simply don’t want to pay more for fuel.
Haslam admits that there is no immediate infrastructure crisis but says that the state has a responsibility to make the hard call to ensure that the next generation will benefit from safe roads and bridges.
Haslam claims that the trucking industry is willing to pay more for fuel in return for better roads: “They’re the ones who do the math, and they’re the ones who say is it worth it for me to pay more and have better roads so there’s less wear and tear on my vehicle and my drivers and my products get where they should be on time.”
Said Haslam, “If the people who make a living off of that say ‘I’m willing to pay more because it will save me money,’ I think it speaks volumes.”
— Lyndsay Botts (@LBottsTDOT) January 25, 2017