Beavers, Pody, and Weaver to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Governor’s Gas Tax Proposal

State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representatives Mark Pody and Terri Lynn Weaver will hold a town hall meeting Friday in Smithville on Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act.
The state lawmakers want to hear from the public on their opinions concerning the Act which if approved would cut the sales tax on groceries another half percent ($55 million) to 4.5% while it increases the road user fee or gas tax by 7 cents for a gallon of gas and 12 cents for a gallon of diesel. The Governor’s plan would also increase car registration fees by $5 for the average passenger vehicle, which is expected to bring in $278 million in new dollars for Tennessee Department of Transportation projects.
“We would like to invite everyone to our town hall meeting at the county complex Friday, February 17 at 3:00 p.m. We want to explain the gas tax and what is contained in it as well as other plans that have come forward. There will be a chance for you to write down your questions and we will answer them at the meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone,” said Senator Beavers.
Representative Pody, in a LIVE radio interview on WJLE Tuesday morning said most leaders agree there’s a need to help fund Tennessee Department of Transportation projects but disagree on the method.
“I am very glad that the Governor is taking a leadership role in bringing this to the forefront. Its an issue we have to address. Our roads are in good shape but there is going to be a funding issue down the road. He is taking the bull by the horns in saying lets get this issue fixed for future generations. He wants to raise taxes on fuel, car registrations, and car rentals but he also wants to cut taxes on food and businesses. That is one option. Another plan would redirect a quarter of one percent of sales tax directly to the transportation fund, which should create about $291 million of reoccurring money every single year. It’s much simpler and cleaner,” said Representative Pody.
Under the Governor’s plan, counties and cities would get more revenue, but they would also benefit from the other option according to Representative Pody. “We will talk about what the Governor is proposing and how much the cities and counties will potentially be getting. For example, the City of Smithville would be getting an additional $50,000 underneath his plan. Under the other plan they would still be getting money. Both plans ensure cities and counties receive additional money. It’s just how we’re going to get to that point will be our main discussion,” he added.
Representative Pody will also be in Smithville Friday morning for his regular monthly visit with constituents. You may meet him on the 3rd floor of the Ernest Ray Education Center on the public square at 10 a.m. or at Hardees Restaurant at 10:30 a.m.

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