NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that the 12-cent federal fuel-tax hike proposed by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker would help Tennessee fund its highway and bridge needs, but he stopped short of endorsing the plan until he gets more details.
“Would it help the state? Sure,” Haslam said. “Transportation funding both at the federal and state levels has been severely curtailed” due to slower fuel tax revenue from increased energy efficiency.
“Whether that’s the right thing or not, Congress will have to debate that out,” the governor said.
“There’s been a lot of debate about whether we should fund this (transportation) project or that project. Pretty soon it’s going to be a question of whether any project can get funded,” he said.
Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., unveiled the bipartisan plan last week to add 12 cents to both the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal gas tax and 24.4 cents-a-gallon diesel tax over the next two years (six cents per year) and then index the tax rates to inflation. They also call for offsetting the tax increases with other tax cuts.