The gas tax debate made its’ way to Memphis. Governor Bill Haslam took questions in a city-wide meeting on his proposal for a 7 cents per gallon increase in the gas tax to pay for Tennessee roads and bridges.
The meeting was organized by District 86 State Representative Barbara Cooper at the Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in South Memphis.
Over 100 people attended the meeting, where the Governor took questions written down on index cards by people in the audience.
Haslam knew exactly what to say to the audience to try to convince them a gas tax hike was necessary.
He reminded them of Memphis trouble spots like Lamar Avenue in bad need of repair. Haslam says that project alone will cost around 250 to 300 million dollars
“We have to do something different than what we’ve been doing now, and we have to be realistic about how we’re going to pay for it,” said Haslam.
The Governor wants to raise the gas tax from .21 per gallon to .28 per gallon.
Some lawmakers think there’s a better way to pay for road repairs including using the state’s surplus money from sales tax.
Haslam says that’s not a permanent solution.