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VOL. 41 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 17, 2017

Haslam proposal to boost road funding advances in House

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 has survived a key House committee.

The House Transportation Committee voted 11-7 for the bill that would also cut sales taxes on groceries, corporate taxes on manufacturers and taxes on earnings from stocks and bonds.

Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton of Bean Station voted against the bill because it raises drivers' taxes. In his words: "When you go to the pump, Republicans did it to you. Don't blame the Democrats."

The panel defeated a rival proposal to instead redirect tax money collected from vehicle sales to the highway fund, and do away with the fuel tax hike altogether.

Haslam's transportation plan is aimed at tackling a $10 billion backlog in road and bridge projects.

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