AFP: Lots of legislators against gas tax, none for it

Americans for Prosperity says about a third of Tennessee’s 132 state legislators as declaring opposition to an increase in gas taxes while Gov. Bill Haslam tries to build support for doing something to increase revenue for road construction and maintenance.

The list, posted on the AFP website HERE, included 13 senators and 35 representatives Tuesday afternoon, a quick count indicates. All others were listed as not responding to AFP in its survey; no one was listed a supporting a gas tax increase. (Note: In the news release below, AFP says the total is 45. Apparently three more were added during the day Tuesday.)

Andy Sher notes that Senate Transportation Chairman Jim Tracy is one of those listed, though his quote sounds like Tracy is talking about only the 2016 session.

“I don’t think it’s doable,” Tracy said in a phone interview. “Because we’ve got a lot of work to do to put it together.”

The AFP also asked all nine members of Tennessee’s delegation to give their position on raising taxes and none had responded. Still, AFP counts U.S. Bob Corker as supporting a gas tax increase because he has introduced legislation that includes a hike in fuel tax levies.

The AFP news release is below

News release from Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Americans for Prosperity Tennessee gains momentum in opposing an increase to the state’s gas tax with the launch of its website www.axethetax.org, which lists 45 lawmakers opposed to an increase in the gas tax.

“Some politicians are testing the waters so they can squeeze more money out of Tennessee families at the pump,” said Andrew Ogles, state director of Americans for Prosperity Tennessee. “Lawmakers should turn their focus from tax increases to cutting wasteful spending; prioritizing roads and bridges over special pet projects and bike paths .”

The website is announced as Gov. Haslam travels Tennessee to make the case for higher taxes on gas, while the state has failed to ensure that these taxes only pay for vital infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

“There are 45 lawmakers in this state who are standing with taxpayers by opposing the gas tax; we hope that others will stand with their colleagues and publicly oppose an increase to the gas tax. Tennessee families know how to tighten their belts, lawmakers in Nashville and Washington would be wise to learn from their constituents.”