Mayors Caucus supports IMPROVE Act
Nashville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan joined several Middle Tennessee mayors on Tuesday to urge state legislators to support Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act and the bill’s local option allowing communities to choose their own public transit investments.
Mayors from six counties and cities, representing the Mayors Caucus, called on legislators to show support for the act, which will fund a major backlog of road projects statewide and provide a path for traffic relief in Middle Tennessee.The Mayor’s Caucus represents 13 counties and 52 cities from the Greater Nashville Regional Council’s service area.
“We are experiencing terrific economic growth in our region, but with that comes traffic congestion that harms our quality of life,” Mayor McMillan, caucus vice chair, said. “We have to maintain our economic development momentum while also finding real solutions to traffic. The local option for referendums puts those decisions in the hands of our voters,” said Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, caucus vice chair.
Governor Haslam’s IMPROVE Act would cut $270 million in annual taxes while also funding 962 infrastructure projects across all 95 counties. Additionally, the act would create a local option for communities to send public transit projects to referendum.
Caucus leaders said the local option is crucial to the future of Middle Tennessee communities.
“The IMPROVE Act is the right plan to sustain Middle Tennessee’s economic momentum while also improving quality of life for our communities,” said Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, caucus chair. “Local voters should also have the ability to participate in the process by addressing public transit options through referendums.”
Mayors said the region’s transportation infrastructure is too limited, adding the IMPROVE Act is a fiscally responsible way to fund the state’s backlog of road projects.
“We need transportation funding that is sustainable and not a quick fix. Working people need better options to get to their jobs and back to their families every day, and businesses need to see we are continuing to invest in our infrastructure,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, chair of the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Mayors Caucus said it will continue to work with legislators on seeing the IMPROVE Act passed including the local option portion of the initiative.