Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and the Clarksville City Council have approved a resolution supporting Governor Bill Haslam’s goal to revamp transportation funding in Tennessee.
The governor’s IMPROVE Act, the top priority of his legislative agenda this year, is a revenue-neutral plan to cut taxes on food, manufacturing and business while providing a sustainable increase in funding for the state’s transportation network.
The bill advanced this week on a close vote in the House Transportation Committee and more action is expected.
Haslam’s proposal cuts taxes by an estimated $270 million annually.
These cuts include:
- $113 million by reducing business taxes for manufacturers.
- $55 million by cutting the sales tax on groceries by a half percent .
- $102 million by cutting the Hall income tax 3 percent over the next two years.
The plan would bring in $278 million in new dollars to fund transportation projects across the state.
These revenue sources include:
- Increasing the road user fee by 7 cents a gallon for gas and 12 cents a gallon for diesel.
- Increasing car registration fees by $5.00.
- Placing a $100.00 annual fee on electric vehicles, increasing charges on vehicles using alternative fuels, and placing a 3 percent charge on rental cars.
The plan would index fuel taxes to the Consumer Price Index to keep up with the rate of inflation and also change the open container law to allow TDOT to use $18 million in existing federal funds on roads.
In a provision important to Middle Tennessee, Haslam’s plan would allows municipalities, if approved by local voters through referendum, to impose a surcharge on existing taxes that would be dedicated to public transit projects.
Here is the complete text of the resolution:
A Resolution Expressing Support
For Increased Transportation
Funding and Local Public Transit
Referendums In Tennessee
WHEREAS, Clarksville, Tennessee voters have expressed great concern over the years
about adequate roads and about the safety and convenience of our
transportation infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, the City of Clarksville requires sustainable transportation funding to
maintain our roads and keep them safe and useful to our residents; and
WHEREAS, economic development relies in large part on the quality of our
transportation infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, the State of Tennessee has a 50-year backlog of transportation projects
under the current funding system covering 962 outstanding projects in all
95 Tennessee Counties; and
WHEREAS, approximately 1,300 miles of Tennessee roads and bridges require work
that cannot presently be funded under the existing system; and
WHEREAS, the Clarksville City Council seeks high-quality jobs, access to higher
education, and the best possible quality of life for our residents; and
WHEREAS, long commute times between Middle Tennessee counties lessen the quality
of life for our residents, taking parents away from their children and families
away from community activities; and
WHEREAS, a lack of adequate transportation funding keeps projects from being
completed that would make roads and bridges safer for our residents; and
WHEREAS, local voters, through referendums at the ballot box, have the wisdom to
decide investment in public transportation options for our community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CLARKSVILLE, TENNESSEE:
That the Clarksville City Council, along with other legislative bodies of local government
in our region, support the principles and goals of Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act
to revamp transportation funding in Tennessee to the betterment of the residents of our
cities and county.
ADOPTED: March 2nd, 2017