Weather Related Closings

Tennessee legislature OKs Haslam’s road funding bill that includes gas tax increase

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Both the Tennessee House and the Tennessee Senate have approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s road funding proposal, which includes the state’s first gas tax increase since 1989.

The House approved the bill on a 60-37 vote on Wednesday after a marathon debate and dozens of failed amendments. It then headed to the Senate, where senators voted 25-6 on Wednesday for the Republican governor’s roads package, which also cuts other taxes.

It now heads back to the House to resolve a difference over property tax relief for veterans.

The Senate wants property tax relief for disabled veterans to increase to up to $175,000 in property value.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville deemed the proposal an overall tax break.

The bill cuts the sales tax on groceries, corporate taxes on manufacturers and the tax on earnings from stocks and bonds.

Efforts supported by House leadership to strip the gas tax out of the bill fell well short in a floor vote. That proposal would have instead funded new road and bridge projects by redirecting revenues collected from the sales tax on new and used vehicle purchases.