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Gas Tax Increase Approved by Tennessee House

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – The IMPROVE Act,  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to fund critical infrastructure projects and offer local government the option to fund transportation needs passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

The more than six hour debate saw House members carefully and thoroughly consider dozens of amendments and counter proposals to the IMPROVE Act.  At the end of the debate, the bill cleared the House by a narrow margin.

“I have been out front and very public about my disappointment in our State government’s neglect, in recent years, to address our over-burdened roads, highways and dangerous bridges with a responsible funding plan.”

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Any plan must relieve traffic congestion with a dedicated funding source, offer a mass transportation option for local communities and regions of our state, and Clarksville-Montgomery County must get our fair share. 

While not perfect, the IMPROVE Act did achieve one of the major needs on my list, and that is to ensure Clarksville-Montgomery County gets some critical projects funded to expand congested roadways which is a time and gas waster just to get from one side of town to another.

Clarksville-Montgomery County Projects

  • Montgomery County, Route 00975, Dotsonville Road bridge over Cummings Creek, LM 7.900;
  • Montgomery County, Route 01861, Budds Creek Road bridge over Budds Creek, LM 2.800
  • Montgomery County, Route 01863, Cooper Creek Road bridge over branch, LM 1.800;
  • Montgomery County, Route 01888, Shady Grove Road bridge over McAdoo Creek, LM 6.670;
  • Montgomery County, Route 03148, Dunbar Cave Road bridge over branch, LM 1.270;
  • Montgomery County, Route 0A009, Sulphur Springs Road bridge over Sulphur Branch, LM 1.568;
  • Montgomery County, Route 0A089, Ringgold Road bridge over Illinois Central Railroad (removed), LM 1.023;
  • Montgomery County, Route 0A394, Akin Road bridge over Louise Creek, LM 1.294;
  • Montgomery County, I-24, from Tennessee-Kentucky state line to SR-76 (Exit 11);
  • Montgomery County, I-24, Clarksville welcome center renovation;
  • Montgomery County, SR-13, Kraft Street bridge over Illinois Central Railroad (removed), LM 19.890;
  • Montgomery County, SR-149/374, from Dotsonville Road to SR-149, SR-149 from SR-374 to River Road;
  • Montgomery County, SR-374, from Dotsonville Road to US-79 (SR-76);
  • Montgomery County, SR-48, (Trenton Road) from SR-374 to I-24;

The IMPROVE Act will also provide additional funding to our City and County highway and street departments for operations. I am sensitive that every citizen, especially those on fixed incomes or those on the lower end of our income level, will have to pay the additional tax.

“I did not take my vote lightly and believe our community will be better served with a more efficient transportation system.”

World’s Biggest Fish Fry

Princesses of the 2017 World’s Biggest Fish Fry visited with Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts.
Princesses of the 2017 World’s Biggest Fish Fry visited with Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts.

Princesses of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry visited with Rep. Joe Pitts last week.  April 28th is a day full of fun activities for the family.  To view the entire schedule for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry right click on this link and chose Open Hyperlink World’s Biggest Fish Fry 2017.pdf   

House Bill 19/Senate Bill 152

House Bill 19/Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) would allow motorcycle dealers, at a one-time event, to sell their merchandise at an off-site business location.  Current law prohibits this activity.  This legislation has passed the Finance Sub Committee and will be heard in the Finance Full Committee on April 25th.

House Bill 531/Senate Bill 1218

House Bill 531/Senate Bill 1218 sponsored by Rep. Dennis Powers (R-Oak Ridge) and Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) would establish a last-dollar scholarship for adults to attend a community college tuition-free. 

With this extension of the Drive to 55, which comes at no additional cost to taxpayers, every Tennessean will have the opportunity to enter or reenter public education with no tuition expenses. 

The bill was passed on the House Floor on April 13th and is currently in the Senate awaiting action.

House Bill 1064/Senate Bill 1267

House Bill 1064/Senate Bill 1267 sponsored by Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) and Mark Norris (R-Collierville) is known as the “Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Financial Exploitation Prevention Act.”

This bill will add tools and greater flexibility as to how bankers can best protect their customers when they have reason to suspect financial exploitation of the elderly or vulnerable adults has occurred or is being attempted. 

“As a banker, I regularly see attempts to exploit our elderly and vulnerable adults.  The bill was approved by the House today and is headed to the Governor for his review and signature,” said Pitts.

If you have questions about the above or other issues of concern, please call me at 615.741.2043, or email me at rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov



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