Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax proposal has survived its first vote, but not without changes. On March 1, the House Transportation Subcommittee voted to approve the plan after removing all but two amendments.
One amendment eliminated any gas and diesel tax increases, retained the tax cuts, and added a provision that would dedicate a portion of existing sales tax revenue to fund Tennessee’s transportation needs. This amendment came from Rep. David Alexander and was based on an alternative transportation funding proposal from Rep. David Hawk. The other amendment eliminated the provision that would have indexed the gas tax to inflation.
The issue will now advance, but its future is murky. The Tennessean reports that the bill can be changed at any time, including by the full House Transportation Committee. Legislators could still revamp the proposal and bring original provisions back, removing and replacing current amendments with the governor’s full original plan.